Aluminium Die Casting

Aluminium Diecasting Process: A Step by Step Guide

Aluminium is a type of metal with wide industrial applications, thanks to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, high operating temperatures, good electrical and heat conductivity, and full recyclability. The best way to harness its many strengths and channel them for a specific use is through the process of aluminium diecasting. When done professionally, aluminium diecasting ensures precise form and supreme quality at large production volumes. This article reviews the aluminium diecasting process step by step and explains why we invest so much into producing the strongest and most sought-after aluminium moulds on the market.

What is Diecasting?

Aluminium diecasting is one of the most popular methods of casting metals. Essentially, it involves pumping molten metal (or molten aluminium) into a mould cavity under high pressures. It is an entirely automated process, and thanks to the repeated use of the same diecasting moulds and high pressures, each metal cast is structurally identical and completely pore-free. Structural aluminium diecasting is a high-investment yet high-yield procedure and, for this reason, there are only a few big players in the field.

Here at Lupton & Place, we are incredibly proud to be one of the leading diecasting companies in the UK. We have a strong drive for innovation and, with access to some of the latest and most technically advanced machinery on the market, we are able to complete the diecasting process with ease and precision and complete a wide range of complex structural diecasting projects.

What Steps are Involved in the Aluminium Diecasting Process?

When casting metals with a high melting point, such as aluminium, a “cold-chamber” diecasting process is often employed. This is one of two basic types of diecasting within which a precise amount of molten metal is poured manually into a chamber, and here we take a look at each step of the aluminium diecasting process in a little more detail:

Heating

Initially, the aluminium metal is heated at extremely high temperatures in a separate furnace. This stage of the diecasting process effectively transforms the solid aluminium metal into a molten liquid.

Transfer

A predetermined amount of the molten aluminium is then manually taken from the hot furnace and ladled into an unheated shot cylinder of the cold-furnace diecasting machine. Compared with a typical diecasting process, this manual transfer is an additional step and can, therefore, prolong the time spent per cast part. This is why, here at Lupton & Place, we use Buhler Real Time Closed Loop Control Aluminium Diecasting Machines. These machines have a locking force between 160 and 1300 tonnes. They are incredibly precise and extra quick and, as a result, they help to minimise the time loss noted above by speeding up the entire diecasting process.

Moulding

A shot piston subsequently injects the molten aluminium into the closed and well-lubricated diecasting mould. This mould consists of two halves, including the cover, die half (top) and the ejector die half (bottom), with a parting line between them. During this stage of the structural aluminium diecasting process, the molten aluminium flows in through the shot hole in the cover half die and effectively takes the shape of the diecasting mould.

High Pressures

The diecasting machine then creates and maintains uniform high pressures until the part solidifies. Once the diecasting process is complete, the mould opens. The part slides from the cover die half into the ejector die half, where precise, computer-controlled ejector pins apply uniform pressure onto the cast – thus allowing it to be ejected without any surface damage.

The Finishing Touches

Once the aluminium part has been removed from the mould, the cast mould can be sprayed with a fresh coat of lubricant and the whole diecasting process can start afresh. After all, it is the precise repetitive nature of structural aluminium diecasting that makes it such a popular option for high-quality production volumes. Each part will be completely identical and pore-free.

Possible Additional Steps in the Aluminium Diecasting Process

Above we have outlined the five main steps that are integral to the aluminium diecasting process; however, depending upon the specificity of the part being cast, additional steps may be necessary. For example, whilst the molten metal is inside the aluminium casting mould, the mould can engage its cores and slides. These cores and slides are appendages and they can be used to create a range of finer details, such as holes, openings and intricate surface patterns.

Once the aluminium part has been ejected from the mould, it will also be thoroughly inspected for defects. Such defects could include misruns (mould not completely full), cold shuts (weak spots in the part due to unequally molten metal), hot tears (cracks during cooling), and flow marks. Thanks to our state-of-the-art technology and machinery, the possibility of these defects occurring is highly unlikely; however, if they were to occur, the defective parts would simply go back into the hot furnace and the diecasting process would be started again.

Choose Lupton & Place for All Your Aluminium Casting Needs

Here at Lupton & Place, it’s fair to say, we lead the way with our aluminium casting expertise and skillset. Our dedicated team of staff demonstrates a wealth of experience in this area and they are capable of producing a diverse range of aluminium castings with quality and precision.

As one of the leading aluminium casting companies in the UK, we also like to keep up-to-date with the latest equipment and we regularly invest in the most advanced aluminium diecasting machinery on the market. For example, our Buhler Real Time Closed Loop Control Aluminium Diecasting Machines ensure unbeatable repeatability and our CNC technologies guarantee a rigid production process. We offer a highly cost-effective and efficient aluminium casting service and all of our aluminium castings are produced to the best possible quality and standard.

If you would like to find out more about the diecasting process, or if you have any questions about the structural aluminium diecasting services we offer, please feel free to get in touch at any time. Just give us a call on 01282 422361 or request a call back using the online form found here.

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