Zinc is one of the common metals used in die casting. Zinc die casting products can be found in many sectors and its high demand is due to its unique properties. Read on to find out more about the zinc die casting process as well as the benefits of using it and its alloys.
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What is zinc die casting?
Zinc die casting is a metal fabrication process used to produce complex and accurate metal components that are high in strength. There are two zinc die casting variations. Alloy 3, Alloy 5, and Alloy 7 are conventional zinc alloys that are also known as ZAMAK alloys.
Zinc alloys that contain higher amounts of aluminum such as ZA-8, ZA-12, and ZA-27 have higher strength than the conventional ZAMAK alloys. Zinc die casting is one of the most cost and time efficient methods available when it comes to manufacturing metal components.
Why is zinc used in die casting?
Zinc is used because it enables products to be manufactured with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability. It is one of the few metals that can be fabricated to produce fine details including textured surfaces without needing additional steps.
Zinc die casting process
Zinc die casting dies are made in a minimum of two sections in order for the castings to be removed in quick succession. The dies are mounted securely in the machine and arranged in such a way so that one is fixed while the other is movable.
The process starts with the die-cast machine clamping the two halves of the die together. The mold cavity created by the two die halves is then injected with molten zinc or a molten zinc alloy. Once the molten zinc solidifies – which is quite quickly – the movable half is opened and the zinc casting is ejected. The cycle repeats to create the next casting.
Zinc castings are created very quickly and molds that are used can be simple or complicated, depending on the desired design of the casting. Zinc castings can be finished with shot blasting, powder coating, chrome plating, as well as bright finish.
Advantages of Zinc die casting
Zinc die casting is a manufacturing process that is in high demand because it offers the following advantages:
- Zinc die casting production rates are much faster than aluminum or magnesium.
- It is a low-cost raw material and less material is needed.
- Zinc die castings have excellent accuracy and stability.
- Zinc has great hardness and is a very strong metal.
- It has great casting fluidity.
- It is easy to join.
- It is corrosion resistant.
- Zinc can be fully recycled.
- Its design flexibility reduces manufacturing costs.
- Extended tool life.
Zinc die casting applications
The most popular use for zinc die casting is in the automotive industry. Vehicles have many parts that are crafted from the die casting process and zinc’s hardness and strength is ideal for many components such as:
- Fuel systems
- Power steering components
- Brake systems
- Engine components
- Air conditioning systems
- Car interior components
Zinc is also commonly used in the building and industrial sectors because of its anti-corrosion properties.
Zinc Vs Aluminum Castings
Compared to aluminum die casting, zinc or zinc alloys are usually chosen when it comes to casting smaller or thinner sections. Zinc maintains closer tolerances and the impact strength of zinc castings is higher than many other common metals and their alloys.
Additionally, as zinc and zinc alloys do not need temperatures and pressure that are as high as aluminum during the casting process, the dies need less maintenance and can last much longer than dies that are used for aluminum castings.
However, both zinc and aluminum have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. You will need to choose the metal that is best suited for your product. Industrial manufacturing companies that produce precision die casting products will be able to help you understand the advantages of metals that are available and decide on the metal that is best suited for your specific applications.
Zinc castings are widely used in numerous fields and industries. Its applications are numerous due to the advantages that zinc offers.
The article is a part of our comprehensive guide on “Die casting: Process, Equipment, Uses, and More”
If you are looking to manufacture zinc die cast products, Eko Industries is a die casting company that specializes in the die casting process.