Knowledge, they say, is power. Here are a few tidbits for aluminum die casting professionals.
Industry professionals laud aluminum as a durable, lightweight, and high-tensile-strength material. Its combination of the perfect melting temperature, malleability, and pressure resistance has made it the material of choice for large players in the durable goods sector. In fact, a large part of the total demand for things like automotive parts, consumer electronics, construction materials, and aerospace parts is filled using aluminum, in its many grades, as the chief raw material.
Thus, it stands to reason that aluminum fabrication and mass manufacturing is a high-value field with serious profit generation prospects. Those that have been engaged in the field for long understand the crucial need for aluminum and that barring a severely catastrophic global scenario, that demand is not going to fall even in the far future. To fill in this demand, more and more skilled professionals are entering into the market, improving work quantity and quality. This is further driving the growth of industrialization at a large scale. It is estimated that by 2050, more than 90% of the global population is going to live in cities. Urbanization is expensive and resource intensive, requiring the development of cutting-edge processes to cater for an ever growing population.
With all that said, there are ways through which metal casting working professionals can boost end productivity. As with many other professions, there are ways by which experienced workers and novices alike can slightly adjust their methods and workflow in order to resduce rate of error, material waste, turnover times, manufacturing costs etc. and improve things like efficiency and quality. Those tips are the crux of this article. With that said, here are a few tips that, if followed correctly, will allow you to improve your aluminum die casting efficiency.
Understand the physical properties of the metal
Just like with any other material, casting aluminum alloy properly requires an underlying understanding of its inherent properties – including its strengths and design and fabrication limitations.
The “draft” is the specific amount of slopes that can be allowed the cores or other parts of the die cavity. This becomes necessary if the cast exists as parallel to the opening direction of the die. Proper draft implantation allows the easy removal of the die casting from the die, further allowing for the precise shapes and quality surface finishes.
The fillet is the curved juncture that exists between two separate surfaces. This is usually added to the cast job in order to remove sharper surfaces, corners, and edges.
Bosses are mounting points which serve as a point of contact and attachment for parts that will be attached much later, after the entire casting process is done. As a general rule of thumb, bosses should possess a uniform level of thickness throughout the entire surface of the item on which they are present.
Ribs are added to aluminum die casts in order to allow for increased support in cases where the proposed design requires more strength and at the same time, needs to maintain a static wall thickness.
The Miracle of Heat Treatment
If the durability of your die casting molds is your number one priority, consider using heat treatments as well as die coating. Heres how it works: the technique slows down heat checking considerably, thus greatly increasing the life of the mold.
It is not always a no-brainer however. There are many considerations to be made before delving into heat treatment procedures. Things such as the number of tamperings, heat treat furnace, quench rate, etc.
Making the right choice of alloys
With a metal such as aluminum that comes in many grades and alloys, it is important to understand the different use cases that can be applied accordingly to the different iterations that the metal can come in. There are varieties of mechanical advantages and drawbacks as well as favorable and unfavorable use cases and in the following paragraphs, we will discuss them.
Aluminum Alloy A380 – One of the most commonly used alloys for aluminum die casting, offering exceptional fluidity, pressure tightness and resistance to hot cracking.
K-Alloy – This is a specialized material. K-Alloy is a cold-chamber die cast alloy specifically engineered for use in parts that must be resistant to the elements.
Aluminum Alloy 383 – Lauded by artisans and professionals for its corrosion resistance as well as lightweight nature.
Aluminum Alloy B390 – Distinguishing features are its hardness as well as its wear resistance.
Many resources are available for professionals engaged in fields such as aluminum casting. It always pays to consult those resources in order to find out how you can evolve your work processes in order to be more productive, more efficient, and more expedient.