WHAT IS ZINC DIE CASTING?

Zinc Die Casting

It is a manufacturing process for producing precise and durable parts with Zinc alloy. Here’s a short summary of Zinc Die Casting.

  • It is done by Hot-Chamber Die Casting process
  • The process is continuous, thus faster
  • Cheaper raw material makes it a cost-effective process
  • Mechanical strength is higher compared to other metal alloys
  • Requires less temperature to melt
  • Has high electrical conductivity
  • Has good thermal properties
  • It is quite heavier compared to most other metals
  • Parts can be recycled
  • Exhibits great dimensional stability
  • Has better support for thin walls
  • Has excellent corrosion resistance
  • Suitable for producing miniature parts

We will be giving you a more brief description of the Zinc Die Casting process in the latter part of this article.

HIGH PRESSURE ZINC DIE CASTING PROCESS

Hot Chamber Die Casting ProcessThe Zinc Die Casting falls under the category of the pressure die casting. To be more precise it’s a high-pressure die casting technique. Zinc Alloy has a low melting point, so unlike Aluminum, it can be cast in a Hot Chamber Die Casting Machine.

In the case of, Hot Chamber Casting process the metal alloy is molten inside the machine. Since the melting temperature is lower there is no risk of damaging the die casting equipment.

The Zinc Casting process is explained below:

  • The die casting equipment has an in-built container where Zinc Alloy is melted at a specified temperature
  • The Zinc container is connected to the die cavity with a gooseneck
  • High pressure is exerted using a plunger that forces molten zinc to travel through the gooseneck and fill up the die cavity
  • Then it is left for solidification and cooling to let the casting take form
  • The moving half of the die is ejected to retrieve the Zinc Casting

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF ZINC ALLOYS

 

Die Casting always uses alloys of some sort to utilize the maximum potential of any material. The same goes for Zinc Die Casting. Zinc is mixed with other metals to enhance its mechanical and physical properties.

Some popular Zinc Alloys used in die casting includes,

 

Zamak Alloys

Zamak/Zamac is a combination of Aluminum, Magnesium, and Copper with Zinc as the base material. Zamak alloy is classified in multiple categories (Zamak 2, 3, 4, 5, 7) based on the material composition. Each type has modified mechanical and physical properties. Zamak die casting has been popular among the manufacturers lately.

 

Zinc-Aluminum (ZA) Alloys

As per the name implies here the main constituents are Zinc and Aluminum. Some other elements such as Magnesium and Copper may also be present. It is classified based on the percentage of the Aluminum present. Some common zinc-aluminum composition is the ZA8, ZA12, ZA27. Here the numeric value represents the amount of Aluminum.

 

Now, what sets apart Zamak and ZA Alloys are their composition of Aluminum. Zamak alloys have a constant 4% Aluminum in it. While ZA alloys have a higher and variable composition of Aluminum.

ZINC DIE CASTING ADVANTAGES

Zinc alloys have really good mechanical properties that make it a good choice for die casting. Below are some of its main advantages to give you some ideas.

 

High Mechanical Strength

Zinc Die Castings have very good mechanical properties. The mechanical strength is better than Aluminum and close to that of steel. Since ferrous metals are hard to die-cast, Zinc Die Casting is a great alternative for high strength, durable parts.

Faster Production

Zinc Casting is done by Hot Chamber Die Casting. Since the melting and casting is done in the same place, there is no time wasted between casting cycles. So, Zinc Die Casting is much faster.

 

Better Fluidity

Fluidity also termed as castability is an important factor in Die Casting. Metal alloys with more fluidity allow thinner wall sections in metals. Zinc alloy is an excellent die casting material with exceptional castability.

 

Enhanced Die Life

Zinc Die Casting is known for its ability to keep the die functional for a longer period. Since die tooling is very costly, keeping it functional longer definitely has a significant impact on the overall production cost.

ZINC DIE CASTING APPLICATIONS

Zinc Die Casting Applications

Application of Zinc Die Casting is rather limited compared to Aluminum Die Casting. Zinc Die Casting is mainly adopted for casting smaller parts with intricate details and higher strength requirements that are hard to cast using other methods.

Some industries use Zinc Die Casting, but they are mostly limited to specific components.
Some common application of Zinc Die Casting is,

  • Small building components such as locks, handles, etc.
  • Interior automotive components
  • Very complex housings with thin walls
  • Engine components for better durability
  • Electronic components
  • Zinc Die Casting is most common in the Automotive Industry. Although the market share is still far behind compared to Aluminum Die Casting

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ZINC DIE CASTING AND ALUMINUM DIE CASTING?

Even though both fall into the same category of high-pressure die casting, there are some basic differences between Zinc and Aluminum Die Casting.

Aluminum Die Casting is done in Cold Chamber die casting machine whereas Zinc Die Casting is done in Hot Chamber Die Casting Machine. While Hot Chamber Die Casting does have some benefit over the other, it can only work with metals with a low melting point.

In terms of castability, Zinc performs a bit better than Aluminum. This also allows thinner sections in Zinc Castings. Has better hardness and strength than Aluminum as well. Other parameters such as raw material cost, conductivity, corrosion resistance are quite similar to Aluminum.

So, you must be wondering, then why is Zinc Die Casting less common than Aluminum Die Casting? A big issue of Zinc castings is the weight. Zinc Alloy has a specific gravity around 7. That is multiple times greater than Aluminum and close to cast iron.

In today’s world, end-users prefer lighter vehicles for fuel economy and lighter products for better portability. Die Casting Manufacturers always focuses to make products that the customers are more likely to purchase.

Its poor Strength-to-Weight ratio makes it less suitable for most products. So, even though some good features, Zinc Die Casting is still not a preferred option where the weight of the product is a major concern.

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