Selecting the Right Alloy for Die Casting

Choosing the correct alloy is critical when it is time to die cast a part for machinery. Each alloy has unique properties such as strength, ductility and corrosion resistance. In addition, it’s important to consider the cost of the alloy, especially when a high number of parts are being produced for one job. Using the right alloy can make the difference between an ideal part and one that will break or not function properly.
Here’s a look at some of the most common alloys used in die casting and the reasons why they are used:

Zinc

Zinc alloys are a popular used in die casting for several reasons. They offer high impact strength while also having a high level of ductility (the amount that the material gives while under tensile stress). Some zinc alloys such as Zamak-3 also have alloying elements of aluminum, copper and magnesium, which extend the natural ductility and impact strength. At the same time, it works well with a wide range of plating and finishing options because of its casting ability and dimensional stability.

Aluminum

Aluminum alloys are the most popular alloys used in die casting today. One of the main advantages of aluminum is that it is lightweight while also providing high dimensional stability. This means that it can be formed into complex shapes or used in thin layers while still providing the necessary stability. Aluminum is also highly corrosion resistant and resilient against high temperatures, making it a great choice for harsh environments.

Magnesium

Magnesium alloys are among the easiest alloys to machine. It is the lightest of the common die cast alloys, meaning that it requires less power when die casting than other alloys. Even with its light weight, magnesium has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

Copper

Copper alloys are among the most commonly used when a strength is the most important factor; in fact, copper die cast parts can have a strength that is almost the same as steel. Along with being strong, copper alloys are also very hard and have a high resistance to corrosion and wear. In addition, copper is a highly electrical and thermally conductive.

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