Thursday, January 17, 2019



The earliest examples of die casting by pressure injection - as opposed to casting by gravity pressure - occurred in the mid-1800s. A patent was awarded to Sturges in 1849 for the first manually operated machine for casting printing type. 

The process was limited to printer's type for the next 20 years, but development of other shapes began to increase toward the end of the century. By 1892, commercial applications included parts for phonographs and cash registers, and mass production of many types of parts began in the early 1900s.

The first 
die casting alloys were various compositions of tin and lead, but their use declined with the introduction of zinc and aluminum alloys in 1914. Magnesium and copper alloys quickly followed, and by the 1930s, many of the modern alloys still in use today became available.

 The History die casting process has evolved from the original low-pressure injection method to techniques including high-pressure casting - at forces exceeding 4500 pounds per square inch - squeeze casting and semi-solid die casting. These modern processes are capable of producing high integrity, near net-shape castings with excellent surface finishes.

The Future refinements continue in both the 
alloys used in die casting and the process itself, expanding die casting applications into almost every known market. Once limited to simple lead type, today's die casters can produce castings in a variety of sizes, shapes and wall thicknesses that are strong, durable and dimensionally precise.



Castings shrink when they cool. Like nearly all materials, metals are less dense as a liquid than a solid. During solidification (freezing), the metal density dramatically increases. This results in a volume decrease for the metal in a mold.

 Solidification shrinkage is the term used for this contraction. Cooling from the freezing temperature to room temperature also involves a contraction. The easiest way to explain this contraction is that is the reverse of thermal expansion. Compensation for this natural phenomenon must be considered in two ways.

Solidification shrinkage 
The shrinkage caused by solidification can leave cavities in a 
casting, weakening it. Risers provide additional material to the casting as it solidifies. The riser (sometimes called a "feeder") is designed to solidify later than the part of the casting to which it is attached. Thus the liquid metal in the riser will flow into the solidifying casting and feed it until the casting is completely solid.

 In the riser itself there will be a cavity showing where the metal was fed. Risers add cost because some of their material must be removed, by cutting away from the casting which will be shipped to the customer. They are often necessary to produce parts which are free of internal shrinkage voids. One method that assists in keeping the metal molten in the riser longer is the utilisation of an exothermic sleeve.

Sometimes, to promote 
directional solidification, chills must be used in the mold. A chill is any material which will conduct heat away from the casting more rapidly that the material used for molding. Thus if silica sand is used for molding, a chill may be made of copperironaluminum, graphite, zircon sand, chromite or any other material with the ability to remove heat faster locally from the casting.

 All castings solidify with progressive solidification but in some designs a chill is used to control the rate and sequence of solidification of the casting.

Patternmaker's shrink (thermalcontraction) 
Shrinkage after solidification can be dealt with by using an oversized 
patterndesigned for the relevant alloy. Pattern makers use special "contraction rulers" (also called "shrink rules") to make the patterns used by the foundry to make castings to the design size required. These rulers are 1 - 6% oversize, depending on the material to be cast.

 These rulers are mainly referred to by their actual changes to the size. For example a 1/100 ruler would add 1 mm to 100 mm if measured by a "standard ruler" (hence being called a 1/100 contraction ruler). Using such a ruler during pattern making will ensure an oversize pattern. Thus, the mold is larger also, and when the molten metal solidifies it will shrink and the casting will be the size required by the design, if measured by a standard ruler.

 A pattern made to match an existing part would be made as follows: First, the existing part would be measured using a standard ruler, then when constructing the pattern, the pattern maker would use a contraction ruler, ensuring that the casting would contract to the correct size.



The Cooling rate at which a casting cools affects its microstructure, quality, and properties is termed as cooling rate. It is largely controlled by the molding media used for making the mold. When the molten metal is poured into the mold, the cooling down begins. This happens because the heat within the molten metal flows into the relatively cooler parts of the mold.

 Molding materials transfer heat from the casting into the mold at different rates. For example, some molds made of plaster may transfer heat very slowly, while a mold made entirely of aluminium would transfer the heat very fast. This cooling down ends with solidificationwhen the liquid metal turns to solid metal. Intermediate cooling rates from melt result in a dendritic microstructure.

At its basic level a foundry may pour a 
casting without regard to controlling how the casting cools down and the metal freezes within the mold. However, if proper planning is not done the result can be gas porosities and shrink porosities within the casting. 

To improve the quality of a Die-casting and engineer how it is made, the foundry engineer studies the geometry of the part and plans how the heat removal should be controlled. Where heat should be removed quickly, the engineer will plan the mold to include special heat sinks to the mold, called chills.

 Fins may also be designed on a casting to extract heat, which are later removed in the cleaning (also called fettling) process. Both methods may be used at local spots in a mold where the heat will be extracted quickly. Where heat should be removed slowly, a riser or some padding may be added to a casting. A riser is an additional larger cast piece which will cool more slowly than the place where is it attached to the casting.




Die casting
 is an efficient, economical process offering a broader range of shapes and components than any other manufacturing technique. Parts have long service life and may be designed to complement the visual appeal of the surrounding part. Designers can gain a number of advantages and benefits by specifying die cast parts.

High-speed production - Die casting provides complex shapes within closer tolerances than many other mass production processes. Little or no machining is required and thousands of identical castings can be produced before additional tooling is required.

Dimensional accuracy and stability - Die casting produces parts that are durable and dimensionally stable, while maintaining close tolerances. They are also heat resistant.

Strength and weight - Die cast parts are stronger than plastic injection moldings having the same dimensions. Thin wall castings are stronger and lighter than those possible with other casting methods. Plus, because die castings do not consist of separate parts welded or fastened together, the strength is that of the alloy rather than the joining process.

Multiple finishing techniques - Die cast parts can be produced with smooth or textured surfaces, and they are easily plated or finished with a minimum of surface preparation. Simplified Assembly - Die castings provide integral fastening elements, such as bosses and studs. Holes can be cored and made to tap drill sizes, or external threads can be cast.



Die cast parts are found in many places around the home. The polished, plated zinc die casting in this kitchen faucet illustrates one of the many finishes possible with die casting.

The connector housings are examples of the durable, highly accurate components that can be produced with today's modern die casting.



Each of the metal alloys for die casting offer particular advantages for the finished part.

Zinc :

The easiest alloy to cast, it offers high ductility, high impact strength and is easily plated. Zinc is economical for small parts, has a low melting point and promotes long die life.

Aluminum :

This Die-casting alloy is lightweight, while possessing high dimensional stability for complex shapes and thin walls. Aluminum has good corrosion resistance and mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as strength at high temperatures.

Magnesium :

The easiest alloy to machine, magnesium has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is the lightest alloy commonly die cast.

Copper :

This alloy possesses high hardness, high corrosion resistance and the highest mechanical properties of alloys cast. It offers excellent wear resistance and dimensional stability, with strength approaching that of steel parts.

Lead and Tin :

These alloys offer high density and are capable of producing parts with extremely close dimensions. They are also used for special forms of corrosion resistance.



Consider the castingprocess at 645 B.C, the first traces of the Sand Molding was found. Now consider the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic casting process. Truly, the Casting process has traversed a long path and impacted human civilization for nearly five millennia.

 With technological advances, metal casting is playing a greater role in our everyday lives and is more essential than it has ever been.

Tip :
  • For any Metal Casting Process, selection of right alloy, size, shape, thickness, tolerance, texture, and weight, is very vital.
  • Special requirements such as, magnetism, corrosion, stress distribution also influence the choice of the Metal Casting Process.
  • Views of the Tooling Designer; Foundry / Machine House needs, customer's exact product requirements, and secondary operations like painting, must be taken care of before selecting the appropriate Metal Casting Process.
  • Tool cost.
  • Economics of machining versus process costs.
  • Adequate protection / packaging, shipping constraints, regulations of the final components, weights and shelf life of protective coatings also play their part in the Metal Casting process