The Ultimate Guide to Die Casting in the Automotive Industry

Die casting is among the most common methods used to manufacture components and metal parts for motor vehicles. It is a cost-effective, fast, and reliable fabrication method for making durable parts. This article will guide you through how die casting is applied in the automotive industry.

Overview of Automotive Die Casting

die casting

Die casting is a process in which molten metal is cooled on a die to form a solid metal that follows the die’s design. The die is crucial because it influences the shape, design, size, and smoothness of the die-cast part. As such, designing the mold/die takes the most time.

One of the main reasons die casting is so reliable is that it produces less waste than other metal fabrication methods. This means that you can get more ROI from your investment with die-casting.

The automotive industry is constantly evolving and is always looking for ways to improve die casting processes and techniques. For instance, new metal alloys with superior properties are being introduced to the market. Some of the common advances in automotive die casting include IoT integration and alternative energy use.

How Die Casting Works in the Automotive Industry

The automotive sector sets standards for die casting processes as one of the leading industries that heavily uses die casting. Still, there are specific steps that are only followed when fabricating die-cast parts.

Most automotive manufacturers use high-pressure die-casting (HPDC) techniques because they are reliable in large-volume manufacturing, versatile in material, and can accommodate complex designs. The most common HPDC technique used in the automotive industry is cold-chamber die casting.

The process of cold chamber die-casting

The majority of metals used in automotive die casting have high melting points. Cold chamber die casting is the most suitable casting for these metals. Additionally, this method is preferred because it alleviates risks of corrosion during transfer.

This technique takes place in four basic steps;

Step 1—Prepare the metal and die cavity. In this step, the technician ensures that the metal that will be melted is available in the correct quantity and quality and that the die cavity has the correct geometry.
Step 2—Heating the metal. The metal is heated to a high temperature until it melts into a liquid state. High temperatures are maintained to avoid solidification.
Step 3 – Transferring the metal. Using a ladle, the molten metal is transferred to the shot chamber, a barrel that connects the die cavity and the opening used to load the molten metal.
Step 4—Plunging the metal into the die. Cold chamber die-casting machines have a plunger system that forcefully transfers the molten metal into the die cavity. The force applied helps distribute the molten metal evenly in the die cavity.

Cold chamber die casting differs from hot chamber die casting in one aspect. In cold chamber die casting, the molten metal is transferred to the shot chamber using a ladle, as opposed to the hot chamber, where the shot chamber is connected to the melting pot.

Common Die-Casted Automotive Components

Motor vehicles are assembled from several parts and components, and almost half of them are fabricated using die-casting methods. Although, die casting is limited to metals and alloys as the only materials.

Most of the parts and components manufactured through die casting share similar characteristics, including;

●They have complex geometries
●They need extreme tolerance
●They have a smooth finish
●They should be precise

It is challenging—especially in regard to resources—to manufacture parts with these characteristics through other methods, such as CNC machining. Cold chamber die casting in the automotive industry is used to manufacture the following;

●Structural components
●Housing components
●Engine parts and transmission components

Metals Used in Automotive Die Casting

metals used in automotive die casting

The choice of metal to use in manufacturing motor vehicle parts depends on the manufacturer and design requirements. However, there are common metals that are used in this specific process.

Except for bespoke cases, automotive manufacturers select metals from a vast pool of non-ferrous alloys. These metals have low iron content and exhibit superior properties that are desired for die-casting.

The lack of iron in these metals makes them lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and good conductors. If you think about it, the combination of these three features makes the perfect material for components such as structural and engine parts for motor vehicles.

Examples of the non-ferrous metals and alloys used in automotive die casting include;

●Aluminum
●Zinc
●Copper
●Lead
●Brass alloys (copper & zinc)
●Bronze alloys (copper & tin)

Advantages of Die Casting for Automotive Manufacturing

The growing use of die casting in the automotive industry has been contributed to by the several direct benefits that manufacturers and consumers get. Both parties experience reliability in terms of costs from this fabrication process.

Lightweight yet strong components

This is the top benefit realized from die-cast components. As we saw above, the non-ferrous alloys used in the automotive industry are low in iron content, which makes them relatively lightweight. When the vehicle is lightweight, it will require less fuel to move, which is good for the environment.

Lightweight components also benefit the manufacturer. They are easy to transport by air, which is faster and cheaper. Consequently, the manufacturer’s savings on transportation mean better prices for customers.

High precision and complex geometries

Precision in manufacturing is essential. Die-casting techniques can achieve high levels of precision and intricate details due to their mechanism of action. This means parts look and function as expected. Moreover, the use of dies ensures that identical products look the same with every casting round.

Cost-effectiveness for large-scale production

Dies used in this casting method are used repeatedly for several cycles before they are replaced. While the initial design of the die is expensive, this cost is a one-off, and it pays off eventually. Die casting is also cost-effective because of the reduced waste and byproducts.

Efficient fabrication technique

Die casting is efficient in many ways. First, it does not require much manual labor, which means more labor savings on labor costs. Second, the process’s throughput is relatively high. It is estimated that die casting can produce four times as much as other related machining techniques. This level of efficiency translates to high revenue.

SCOJET Automotive Manufacturing Services

SCOJET automotive manufacturing services

At SCOJET, we pride ourselves on being among the top automotive die casting manufacturers in China. Our experience in this industry dates back over 20 years ago. We have mastered the design, engineering, testing, and manufacturing of various industrial processes, including automotive die casting.

Apart from die casting, we offer other automotive manufacturing services, including;

●Custom CNC machining
●Plastic injection molding
●3D metal printing
●Post-processing services

Our range of automotive services covers almost all major manufacturing processes used in the making of motor vehicles. If you are in this industry, we can help you with most of the design and engineering services.

Conclusion

Die casting is dominant in the automobile industry as a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective means of production. It has accelerated production times, improved part quality, and lowered the cost of production. Hence, this industry’s rapid growth is highly accredited to die casting.

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The Ultimate Guide to Die Casting in the Automotive Industry

Die casting is among the most common methods used to manufacture components and metal parts for motor vehicles. It is a cost-effective, fast, and reliable fabrication method for making durable parts. This article will guide you through how die casting is applied in the automotive industry.

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