When it comes to die casting there is much to consider. Not least the type of die casting you require – pressure, structural, gravity etc. But, on top of this, one of the most crucial decisions you need to make is the type of metal you use for your die cast.
Here we take a look at some of the most commonly used metals for die casting and what they offer.
What is a metal alloy?
Even if you’re not fully genned up on your metals, you’ll most likely know that they all offer different qualities. In fact, in the desire to harness the best of these qualities many of the ‘metals’ on today’s market are not actually pure metals but alloys, so it’s important to be clear on what exactly a metal alloy is.
Put simply, it is when at least one metal is combined with another metal, or non-metal, to combine qualities e.g. making them stronger, lighter or more resistant to corrosion. In die casting, alloys are frequently used to ensure the optimum characteristics are achieved for cast’s intended use.
Popular diecasting metals
Four commonly used metals for diecasting include:
Let’s take a closer look at each one…
A popular choice in car production, aluminium is probably the most prolifically used metal in the diecasting industry, and for good reason. Not only is it a relatively easy metal to work with, it gives great results. Incredibly lightweight, it can withstand exceptionally high operating temperatures, offers a good strength to weight ratio and is resistant to corrosion.
In a more environmentally conscious world, an attractive feature of aluminium is the fact that is also fully recyclable.
Magnesium alloys are typically the lightest and used where weight and durability are a priority. Magnesium is also fully recyclable and offers the qualities of high electrical and thermal conductivity.
Possibly the easiest alloy to die cast, Zinc is often used in electronics, computing and telecommunications. Attractive features of zinc include the fact it has good impact strength, fantastic resistance to corrosion and creates a smooth surface finish – perfect for plating or painting.
An alloy made up of zinc and copper, brass is an attractive metal. Great for conducting electricity yet spark resistant. There are numerous finishing options with brass such as chrome plating and mechanical finishing with polishing and buffering.
These are some of the most abundantly used metals for die casting, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. Copper, tin and lead are other, more speciality materials found in the die casting industry.
Get in touch with the die casting experts
Here at Lupton and Place, aluminium diecasting is our speciality and we pride ourselves on being industry leaders. It is by far the most popular of our diecasting options but, whatever you’re looking for, we are here to help and we put exceptional customer service at the heart of everything we do.
Why not get in touch with the team to discuss your project in more detail? Our experts will be happy to talk through the options available and to help guide you on the right diecast – and metal – for the job.
You can call us on 01282 422361 or fill in our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.