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GUIDELINES FOR DIE CASTING DESIGN

Advice on designing die castings is usually based upon desirable practices or situations
to avoid. However, like most rules, there are exceptions. These affect either costs,
appearance and/or quality of final products. isted below are guides which should be
considered when designing for die casting!
1. "pecify thin sections which can easily be die cast and still provide adequate
strength and stiffness. #se ribs wherever possible to attain maximum strength,
minimum weight.
2. $eep sections as uniform as possible. %here sections must be varied, make
transitions gradual to avoid stress concentration.
3. $eep shapes simple and avoid nonessential pro&ections.
4. A slight crown is more desirable than a large flat surface, especially on plated or
highly finished parts.
5. "pecify coring for holes or recesses where savings in metal and overall costs
outweigh tooling costs.
6. 'esign cores for easy withdrawal to avoid complicated die construction and
operation.
7. Avoid small cores. They can be easily bent or broken necessitating frequent
replacement. 'rilling or piercing small holes in die castings is often cheaper than
the cost of maintaining small cores.
8. Avoid use of undercuts which increase die or operating costs unless savings in
metal or other advantages fully warrant these extra costs.
9. (rovide sufficient draft on side walls and cores to permit easy removal of the die
casting from the die without distortion.
10. (rovide fillets at all inside corners and avoid sharp outside corners. 'eviation
from this practice may be warranted by special considerations
11. 'ie casting design must provide for location of e&ector pins. Take into
consideration the effect of resultant e&ector marks on appearance and function.
The location of e&ector pins is largely determined by the location and magnitude
of metal shrinkage on die parts as metal cools in the die.
12. "pecify die cast threads over cut threads when a net savings will result.
13. 'ie castings which affect the appearance of a finished product may be designed
for aesthetics, and to harmoni)e with mating parts.
14. *nserts should be designed to be held firmly in place with proper anchorage
provided to retain them in the die casting.
15. 'esign parts to minimi)e flash removal costs.
16. +ever specify dimensional tolerances closer than essential. This increases costs.
17. 'esign die castings to minimi)e machining.
18. %here machining is specified, allow sufficient metal for required cuts.
19. ,onsider contact areas for surfaces which are to be polished or buffed. Avoid
deep recesses and sharp edges.
DIE CASTING ALLOYS
'ie casting alloys are normally non-ferrous, and there is a large number available with a
wide range of physical and mechanical properties covering almost every conceivable
application a designer might require.
Aluminum and )inc alloys are the most widely used, and are followed by magnesium,
)inc-aluminum .A/0 alloys, copper, tin and lead.
/inc, lead and tin based alloys are classified as low melting point metals, all melting at
less than 123
o
4 .563
o
,0. /inc-aluminum ./A0 alloys have a slightly higher melting range
of 677
o
4 to 877
o
4 .92:
o
, to 962
o
,0. Aluminum and magnesium alloys are considered to
be moderate melting point alloys, being cast in the ;;37
o
4 to ;577
o
4 .:2;
o
, to 179
o
,0
range. ,opper alloys are considered to be high melting pint, over ;:37
o
4 .688
o
,0. ow
melting point alloys are cast in hot chamber machines. *ntermediate and high melting
point alloys are cast in cold chamber machines. *n recent years, specially designed hot
chamber machines for die casting magnesium alloys have come into use.
ALUMINUM ALLOYS
Aluminum die casting alloys (Table 1) are lightweight, offer good corrosion resistance,
ease of casting, good mechanical properties and dimensional stability.
Although a variety of aluminum alloys made from primary or recycled metal can be die
cast, most designers select standard alloys listed below!
360 -- "elected for best corrosion resistance. "pecial alloys for special applications are
available, but their use usually entails significant cost premiums.
380 -- An alloy which provides the best combination of utility and cost.
383 & 384 -- These alloys are a modification of 567. <oth provide better die filling, but
with a moderate sacrifice in mechanical properties, such as toughness.
30 -- "elected for special applications where high strength, fluidity and wear-
resistance/bearing properties are required.
413 (A13) -- #sed for maximum pressure tightness and fluidity.
!INC ALLOYS
/inc base alloys (Table ") are the easiest to die cast. 'uctility is high and impact
strength is excellent, making these alloys suitable for a wide range of products. /inc
alloys can be cast with thin walls and excellent surface smoothness making preparation
for plating and painting relatively easy.
*t is essential that only high purity .88.88 = 7/70 )inc metal be used in the formulation
of alloys. ow limits on lead, tin and cadmium ensure the long-term integrity of the
alloy>s strength and dimensional stability.
!INC-ALUMINUM (!A) ALLOYS
/A alloys represent a new family of )inc based die casting materials which contain higher
aluminum content than standard )inc alloys. These alloys provide high strength
characteristics plus high hardness and good bearing properties (Table "). Thin wall
castability characteristics and die life are similar to )inc alloys. /A-6 is recommended for
hot chamber die casting, which /A-;2 and /A-21 must be cast by the cold chamber die
casting process. All /A alloys offer similar creep properties and are superior to standard
)inc alloys.
!A-8 -- (rovides strength, hardness and creep properties.
!A-1" -- (rovides excellent bearing properties with strength and hardness
characteristics between /A-6 and /A-21, plus good dimensional stability properties and
somewhat better castability than /A-21.
!A-"# -- ?ffers the highest mechanical properties of the /A family and is, therefore,
recommended when maximum performance is required.
MAGNESIUM ALLOYS
@agnesium alloys (Table 3) are noted for low weight, high strength to weight ratio,
exceptional damping capacity, and ease of machining. ,asting temperatures are about
the same as aluminum, and both hot chamber and cold chamber machines are used to
produce castings.
,asting rates for magnesium are high because of its low heat content which produces
rapid solidification. 4or the same reason, less energy is required to heat the metal to
casting temperature.
A/8;H( .high purity0 alloy has been developed for die casting parts sub&ect to corrosive
environments. <ecause of lower levels of nickel, iron, copper and silicon versus A/8;<,
this alloy is finding applications in automobiles, computers and peripheral equipment,
and in other applications where paint or coatings are either undesirable or expensive.
Although magnesium die castings are used uncoated, they can be finished in a variety of
ways to give increased protection against corrosion, wear and abrasion resistance, and
to improve appearance. ,ommon inorganic treatments include chemical dips, anodi)ing
and plating. ?rganic coatings -- oil, wax, resin or paint -- are usually applied over
chemical treatments or anodi)ing to seal the surface, increase corrosion protection and
provide an attractive appearance.
RELATI$E ALLOY %EIG&TS TO MAGNESIUM
Aluminum ;.:
/inc 5.1
/A Alloys 2.1-5.9
Ma'(e)*+, 1-0
<rass 9.1
Tin 9.7
ead :.5
<ron)e 9.8
T./*0al Me01a(*0al 234/e35*e)
Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
Tensile strength, psi x ;777 91 33 59 9;
Aield strength, psi x ;77 .7.2 pct
offset0
25 57 25 --
"hear strength, psi x ;777 26 51 27 5;
4atigue strength, psi x ;777 27 23 ;9 1
Blongation, pct in 2 in. 5.37 ;3 5.7 ;7
Hardness .<rinell0 67 8; :5 62
"pecific gravity 2.1; 6.57 ;.67 :.:7
%eight, lb/cu. in. .786 7.573 .7:: 7.29
@elting point .liquid0,
o
4 ;;77 ;:17 ;;73 126
Thermal conductivity, ,C" 7.25 7.2; 7.;: 7.21
Thermal expansion, in./in./
o
4 x ;7
-:
;2.; ;2.7 ;3.7 ;3.2
Blectrical conductivity, pct of copper
standard
21 27 ;7 21
@odulus of elasticity, psi x ;7
:
;7.5 ;3 :.3 --
*mpact strength .,harpy0, ft/lb 5.7 97 2.7 95.7
F*(*)1*('7 De043a5*8e
Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
,hrome plating 4air Bxcellent 4air Bxcellent
<lack chrome plating 4air Bxcellent -- Bxcellent
,olored plating 4air -- -- Bxcellent
@echanical-polishing D buffing Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent
acquers, enamels, epoxies D
acrylics
Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent
Anodi)ing 4air -- -- --
2345e05*8e


Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
Anodi)ing-corrosion D abrasion
protection
Bxcellent -- Cood Bxcellent
,hromate conversion-corrosion Bxcellent -- Bxcellent Bxcellent
Heavy paint, wrinkle, matte
finishes-abrasion, corrosion
protection D to hide
imperfections
Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent Bxcellent
+?TB! This chart does not intend to compare metals. *ts purpose is to show the most
satisfactory methods of finishing each specific metal.
2340e))*(' a(9 2349+05*4(

@achine Types! Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
Hot chamber .(lunger0 +o +o Aes Aes
,old chamber Aes Aes Aes Aes
(roduction range, shots/hr 97-277 97-277 13-977 277-337
Average tool life, no. of shots x
;777
;23 27 277 377
C1e,*0al C4,/4)*5*4( (:)
Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
Aluminum Eemainder 7.23 6.5 to 8.1 5.3 to 9.5
,admium -- -- -- .779 .max0
,opper 5.7 to 9.7 31.7 .min0 7.53 .max0 7.23 .max0
*ron ;.5 7.37 -- 7.;7 .max0
ead -- ;.37 -- .773 .max0
@agnesium 7.;7 -- Eemainder .72 to .73
@anganese 7.37 7.23 7.;5 .min0 --
+ickel 7.37 -- .75 .max0 F
"ilicon 1.3 to 8.3 7.23 .max0 7.3 .max0 F
Tin 7.53 ;.37 -- .775 .max0
/inc 5.7 Eemainder 7.53 to ;.7 Eemainder
?ther 7.37 7.37 7.5 .max0 --
C1a3a05e3*)5*0) 4; D*e Ca)5*(' All4.)
Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
'imensional stability Cood Bxcellent Bxcellent Cood
,orrosion resistance Cood Bxcellent 4air 4air
,asting ease Cood 4air Cood Bxcellent
(art complexity Cood 4air Cood Bxcellent
'imensional accuracy Cood 4air Bxcellent Bxcellent
'ie cost @edium High @edium ow
@achining cost ow @edium ow ow
4inishing cost @edium ow High ow
D*,e()*4(al a(9 %e*'15 L*,*5)
Al+,*(+, 63a)) Ma'(e)*+, !*(0
@aximum weight, lb. 17 ;7 99 13
@inimum wall thickness, large
castings, in.
.767 .787 .;77 .753
@inimum wall thickness, small
castings, in.
.797 .733 .797 .7;3
@inimum variation per in. of
diameter or length from drawing
dimensions over one in.
.77;3 .778 .77;3 .77;
,ast threads, max. per in. external 29 ;7 29 52
,ored holes, min. diameter in. .767 7.237 .767 .737
The values shown herein represent normal production practice at the most economic
level. Creater accuracy involving extra close work or care in production should be
specified only when and where necessary since additional cost may be involved.
C4,/a3*)4( 4; Me5al)
MATERIALS S2ECIFIC GRA$ITY L6S-<CU- IN-
Me5al)
@agnesium A/-8;<-ingot ;.6; 7.7:35
Aluminum "AB-57:
.567-;G /inc0-ingot
2.11 7.;77
Aluminum "AB-578 .5:70-ingot 2.:9 7.7835
/inc "AB-875 .H/amac> 50-ingot :.: 7.256
<rass-Aellow .I9750-ingot 6.3 7.571
<rass-63/3/3/3 .I;;30-ingot 6.13 7.5;:
"teel-,E Alloy-strip 1.63 7.265
"teel-'wg. Jual.-sheet 1.63 7.265
"teel-"tainless 579-bar 1.82 7.26:
*ron-(ig, basic-pig 1.; 7.23:
2la)5*0)
(olyester .thermoplastic0 ;.5; 7.7915
(olystyrene--Ceneral (urpose ;.7: 7.7565
(olypropylene Eesin 7.873 7.7521
(olyvinyl ,hloride .rigid0 ;.27-;.51 7.7955-7.7989
"tyrene Acrylonitrile .,opolymer0 ;.71 7.756:
A<" Eesins ;.79-;.7: 7.7513-7.7565
@odified Acrylic Eesin-Eubber ;.;2-;.;6 7.7979-7.792:
,ellulose Acetate <utyrate ;.;8 7.7957
@odified (olyphenylene ?xide ;.7:-;.;7 7.7565-7.7581
(olycarbonate Eesin ;.27 7.7955
(olysulfane ;.29 7.7996
,omparison of @aterials
MATERIALS S2ECIFIC GRA$ITY L6S-<CU- IN-
24l.)5.3e(e
27G Eeinforced ;.27 7.7952
57G Eeinforced ;.26 7.79:2
24l./34/.le(e
27G ;.79 7.7513
57G ;.;5 7.7971
S5.3e(e A03.l4(*53*le
27G ;.22 7.7997
57G ;.5; 7.7912
A6S
27G ;.2;-;.25 7.7958
57G ;.26 7.79:2
24l.e)5e3 (51e3,4/la)5*0)
57G ;.32 7.7398
24l./1e(.le(e O=*9e (,49*;*e9)
27G ;.2;
57G ;.21 7.7936
24l.0a3b4(a5e
27G ;.59 7.7969
57G ;.95 7.73;:
24l.)+l;a(e
27G ;.56 7.7986
57G ;.93 7.7325
Current Industries Served
Appliances Electronics Timing Devices
Automotive Government Toys, Sports
Computer Pluming, Heating Personal Goods
Office Macines Hard!are Transportation
The Advantages of Die Casting
Die casting is an efficient, economical process offering a "roader range of sapes
and components tan any oter manufacturing tecni#ue$ Parts ave long service
life and may "e designed to complement te visual appeal of te surrounding part$
Designers can gain a num"er of advantages and "enefits "y specifying die cast
parts$
1. 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.
2. Dimensional accuracy and stability - Die casting produces parts that
are durable and dimensionally stable while maintaining close tolerances.
!hey are also heat resistant.
". #trength and weight - Die cast parts are stronger than plastic
in$ection moldings having the same dimensions. !hin wall castings are
stronger and lighter than those possible with other casting methods. %lus
because die castings do not consist of separate parts welded or fastened
together the strength is that of the alloy rather than the $oining
process.
&. 'ultiple finishing techniques - Die cast parts can be produced with
smooth or textured surfaces and they are easily plated or finished with a
minimum of surface preparation.
(. #implified )ssembly - Die castings provide integral fastening
elements such as bosses and studs. Holes can be cored and made to tap
drill si*es or external threads can be cast.
+. ,hat is the difference between high-pressure die casting low-
pressure die casting and gravity die casting-
A$ Hig pressure casting and ig%pressure die casting are terms used in Europe
and countries oter tan te &$S$ for !at is referred to in te &$S$ simply as te
die casting process$ Te terms lo!%pressure die casting and gravity die casting are
terms used outside te &$S$ for !at in te &$S$ is called lo! pressure permanent
mold and gravity permanent mold casting$ Altoug tey eac use metal dies,
"ecause of te lo!er pressures involved tey are restricted to eavier section
parts, often resulting in iger cost "ecause of te less efficient use of te alloys
involved and te slo!er processing time$ Tey also re#uire a sprayed%on protective
coating on te die cavities, !ic means looser tolerances and rouger surface
finises$