Die Casting Versus Other Casting Processes

Die Casting Versus Other Casting Processes

As a manufacturing process, die casting is one of the most widely used metal forming processes in the manufacturing industry. This is largely due to its versatility, accuracy, and affordability as compared to other metal forming processes.

As mentioned in our previous article about high-pressure die casting, molten metal such as Aluminium and Zinc are forced into a mold via high pressure. These die casting molds are constructed from high quality steel, and can produce intricate near net shapes with high degrees of accuracy. In addition, die casting is a versatile process that can be repeated multiple times, and this helps produce more castings versus other casting processes.

But where does die casting stand in comparison to other casting processes? Read on to learn more about the benefits of die casting:

Die Casting vs. Sand Casting 

Although die casting and sand casting are quite similar, there is one major difference. Sand casting as its name implies uses a mold made out of sand, and this requires more steps as compared to creating a metal mold. In terms of production rate, sand casting is slower and produces far less. One more point to note is that, the parts created when using a sand mold will not be as smooth as those derived from die casting, this is due to the granular nature of sand.

As for results, die casting can produce parts with thinner walls, near net shapes, and smoother surfaces. Smoother surfaces of parts also equates to a reduction in finishing costs. The only negative when comparing die casting to sand casting is that the tooling cost for die casting is costlier, but this is compensated by faster production and lower labour costs.

Die Casting vs. Forging 

Forging is a process whereby a piece of metal is first heated to a desired temperature, and pressure is then applied to it to attain the required shape (i.e. hammering, pressing, and/or rolling). Although forging uses a mold, unlike die casting which injects molten metal into the mold, forging relies on the combination of heat and pressure to force the metal into the mold.

In terms of parts geometry, die casting as a process produces more complex near net shapes with closer tolerances, thinner walls, and lower finishing costs. Also, with forging, it is not possible to have cast coring holes; holes that are formed by a core in the die casting mold. A cast coring hole is distinguished from a hole that is retrospectively added after the casting has been made (e.g., by drilling).

Die Casting vs. Stamping 

Just like die casting, a mold is used during the stamping process, albeit in a different way. In stamping, a sheet of metal is forced into the desired shape. Because metal sheets are used, stamping can only produce parts with thin walls. Should you require parts that are thicker, you will have to go through the process all over again, and with additional steps to achieve the desired thickness. Also, stamping is a wasteful process as whatever is left of the metal sheet is discarded.

In comparison, as mentioned earlier, die casting produces complex near net shapes with closer tolerances, a wider variation of thickness, and smoother surfaces. In addition, a casting can replace numerous stampings, and due to the die cast mold, there can be added features to the die cast part, and this comes at no additional cost.

Die Casting vs. Metal Extrusion

In metal extrusion, a hydraulic press forces the metal through a mold to create a part. Although this process is very effective when it comes to attaining a desired shape, its end products are rather simplistic, as only simple geometrical shapes (e.g., L-shape, T-shape, tubular, rectangular, or cuboid) can be achieved. If you want complex near net shapes, metal extrusion is definitely not suitable for the task.

Die casting, on the other hand, is a customisable process that is able to produce complex near net shapes. And as mentioned previously, it can be consistently replicated to produce parts in higher volumes.

Choose EKO for Your Die Casting Needs

The quantity of parts required and the qualities you are looking for in your metal parts will determine the correct process to use, be it die casting or another casting method. As shown above, precision die casting is a very useful manufacturing process with numerous benefits that far outweigh what the other metal forming processes can offer.

For over 20 years, EKO Industries has been providing die casting, metal finishing, and custom CNC machining services to our customers. With the skill, expertise, and experience to create the parts you need, we are more than able to assist you in your project’s die casting manufacturer requirements. If you are interested to learn more about our die casting process or some of our other manufacturing capabilities, contact us to find out more.

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