Everything You Need to Know About Die Casting:
An Introduction To The Die Casting Process
Die casting is a versatile process for producing complex-shaped engineered metal parts with accuracy and repeatability. It permits wide latitude and flexibility in design. It is suitable for casting textured surfaces and permits the application of a variety of attractive and serviceable finishes.
Die castings are among the highest volume mass-produced items manufactured by the metalworking industry. Die castings are important components in thousands of consumer, commercial and industrial products such as automobiles, household appliances, recreation, hobby and leisure-time products, farm and garden equipment, electrical equipment and ordnance, general hardware, power tools, computers and other business equipment, instruments, toys, novelties, and a great many others too numerous to mention. In fact, die castings have greater utility and are used in more applications than components produced by almost any other metal forming process.
Die casting is a process involving the injection of molten metal at high pressures (as opposed to casting by gravity pressure). It is believed to have begun sometime during the middle of the 19th century. According to records, in 1849 Sturges patented the first manually operated machine for casting printing type.
Another 20 years passed before the process was extended to casting other shapes. The casting of printer's type led to patents which eventually resulted in development of the linotype machine by Ottmar Mergenthaler.
Various compositions of tin and lead were the first die casting alloys. Their importance and use declined, however, with the development of zinc alloys just prior to World War I. Aluminum alloys for die casting made their commercial debut about 1914. Magnesium and copper followed shortly thereafter.
During the 1930s, many of the alloys we know today had become available. Modern science and technology, metallurgical controls and research are making possible still further refinements resulting in new allows with increased strength and stability.
Through the years, many significant technological improvements have been made to the basic die casting process, to die steels and to die construction, as well as in casting machine design. Improvements have not only extended the capability and production capacity of the process, they have been tremendously effective in expanding die casting applications into almost every known market.
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