2019 | Happy Veterans Day!

2019 | Happy Veterans Day!

Veterans Day is a U.S. federal holiday, observed annually on November 11th, honoring military veterans (persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces).

To all Veterans, we sincerely thank you for your service.

-A&B Die Casting

2019 | Happy Halloween!

2019 | Happy Halloween!

Seven spooky fun Halloween facts
• “Halloween” is short for “All Hallows’ Eve” or “All Hallows’ Evening,” which was celebrated as the evening before All Hallows’ (sanctified or holy) Day or Hallowmas on November 1.
• The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
• The word “witch” comes from the Old English word wicce, meaning “wise woman.”
• Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
• Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets during Samhain, a sacred Celtic harvest festival.
• Fifty percent of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.
• Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.

What Finish Is Right For Your Die Cast Parts? Part 3 | The Finishes that A&B Die Casting Specializes In

What Finish Is Right For Your Die Cast Parts? Part 3 | The Finishes that A&B Die Casting Specializes In

Once a part has been die-cast the process is not quite over. Die cast part finishes are intended to improve the aesthetic and functional characteristics of your component. There are an extremely large number of finishes out there to choose from and the surface finish affects both the appearance and performance of the item. They include everything from finishes that add a decorative touch to the product to others that improve the part’s chemical or corrosion resistance.

A finish is not always essential but it can be a crucial factor in the die casting process since the design of the piece needs to take the finish into consideration to ensure that your final product meets all dimensional requirements. Each step of the die casting process has an impact on the final product. Specific features such as parting lines, vents, ejector pins, and gates need to be taken into consideration early in the design phase to determine the most effective placement so that they don’t interfere with the purpose of the finish.

High quality surface finishes are necessary for things like:
• High shine decorative finish
• Protection against environmental exposure
• Resistance to wear
• Insulation from galvanic corrosion
• And more

Over the last couple of months we have talked at length about finishes in more broad terms and now we want to complete this series by discussing the most popular finishes that we work with. This will help you to find well received finishes, know what they are, and give you the information that you need to find a finish that may be a bit more unique for your product. So, what specific surface finishes do we specialize in?

Decorative:
• Powder coating
• Wet Painting
• Ceramic Coating
Electro Plating

Semi-Decorative:
Electroless Nickel Plating
• Brushed Metal Finishing
• Ball Burnishing

Non-Decorative:
• Chemical Conversion Film
• Anodizing
• Sand Blasting
• Vibratory Finishing

Our standard finishing steps include:
1. Deburring and post-cast processes to remove loose flash, round sharp edges, smooth and brighten surfaces. We use both automated vibratory deburring and mechanical deburring methods to achieve the required finish.
2. Coatings for function including sealing, protection against corrosion, heat dissipation, surface performance and insulation. Most coatings are either paint or plating based.
3. Cosmetic and decorative coatings require a refined approach in both die casting processes and post casting finishing processes. The quality of the finish is directly affected by the quality of the surface underneath.

In general, plating processes are the poorest at hiding underlying surface conditions and require the most surface prep operations to achieve the desired final finish. Due to the fact that a die cast part needs to be heated during certain decorative finishing processes (such as plating and painting), it is vital for the die cast part to have both a good internal structure and good surface finish. These are achieved through good design for both the tool and the component as well as the proper post-casting operations to achieve the optimum surface finish for the desired final plating result.

The process of die casting and following die casting finishes have a symbiotic relationship; meaning they are heavily dependent upon each other and they work together to create the final product. Planning ahead for the finish you need can help to potentially minimize surface finish problems as well as any potential porosity issues. As you can see A&B Die Casting offers a wide range of options and also works closely with you to discover the perfect finishing solutions for your parts.

Our in-depth knowledge and experience allows us to control the entire pre- and post-operative processing, as well as provide turn key part solutions with a variety of options, to meet our customer’s design requirements which ensures that we achieve the desired end product. With over 75 years of die casting surface finishing expertise, our engineers will evaluate your requirements to recommend the best approach to achieve the desired finish for your part. Contact A&B Die Casting today!

What Finish Is Right For Your Die Cast Parts? Part 2 | Electroplating & Electroless Plating

What Finish Is Right For Your Die Cast Parts? Part 2 | Electroplating & Electroless Plating

A die casting surface finish can provide durability, protection, and an attractive appearance. Last month we detailed the most common decorative finishes used in the industry – this article will delve a bit more into two types of plating that can be applied to die castings; electro-plating or electroless plating. What is the difference between the two processes and which would work best for your application?

Electroplating
Electroplating is a process where thin layers of metal are bonded at the molecular level with another metal. An electrical current is passed by two electrode terminals through a carefully prepared electrolyte solution where a metal part has been placed for plating. The electricity changes the surface properties of the part and allows it to bond with the metals in the electrolyte solution.

What types of metals can be plated this way?
• Platinum
• Gold
• Silver
• Chromium
• Copper
• Tin
• Aluminum*
• Zinc
• Cadmium
• Nickel
• Lead

*Aluminum has a tendency to form an oxide that may prevent proper plating adhesion. It is best to apply a zinc undercoating to aluminum parts before any type of plating.

Why choose electroplating?
• Improve appearance
• Improve the abrasion and wear resistance
• Corrosion protection
• Increase lubricity
• Increase the thickness of a part

What parts are commonly electroplated? Here are a few examples:
• Tools and dies
• Aircraft components
• Machine components
• Mechanical assemblies
• Electronics and computer devices
• Enclosures, chassis, and heat sinks
• Medical diagnostic instruments
• And many more

Electroplating is capable of achieving the best cosmetic plating finish on die castings, since multiple layers of plating are applied and buffing/polishing can be performed after each layer. The main downside to electroplating is that it is very difficult to properly and evenly plate parts with complex shapes. The electroplating process also requires very clean conditions, utilizes possibly hazardous equipment, requires filtration, and typically requires multiple applications to achieve the desired look and thickness. In some instances electroless plating is the better alternative.

Electroless Plating
Electroless plating is quickly becoming one of the most widely used forms of plating today because it is more cost-effective and easier to do than electroplating. Electroless plating is used primarily as a protective and/or used to enhance electrical conductivity. In some cases, it can also be used as a decorative coating.

Electroless plating is also known as autocatalytic plating or conversion coating. Simply put, it is a process for plating a part without using an electrical current. The process for electroless plating basically involves dipping a part into a bath of plating solution where a reducing agent (like hydrated sodium hypophosphite) reacts with the ions in the part to deposit another metal alloy onto it (typically nickel).

A wide variety of metals can be plated this way, including (but not limited to):
• Aluminum
• Titanium
• Mild steels
• Stainless steel
• Hardened steel
• Copper
• Brass
• Zinc

Why choose electroless plating?
• Prevents corrosion and wear
• Adds toughness
• Resistance to abrasion
• Uniform deposits with consistent thickness
• Can be used on parts with very complex shapes

Due to the fact that electroless plating tends to create a very hard and non porous finish, this technique is very popular in industries such as oil fields or marine applications where parts are very vulnerable to wear and corrosion.

What other industries commonly use electroless plating? Here are a few examples:
• Oil and gas – barrels, pipes, pipe fittings, valves
• Automotive – gears, brake pistons, shock absorbers, cylinders
• Food service – food processing machine parts, molds
• Plastics and textiles – dies, machine parts, molds, extruders
• Aerospace – rocket parts, pumps, valves, pistons
• Chemicals – mixing blades, filer units, pumps, heat exchangers
• And so many more

In general, plating processes are the poorest at hiding underlying surface conditions and require the most surface prep operations to achieve the desired final finish. It is vital for a die cast part to have both a good internal structure and good surface finish. These are achieved through good design for both the tool and the component as well as the proper post-casting operations to achieve the optimum surface finish for the desired final plating result. Planning ahead for the finish you need can help to potentially minimize surface finish problems as well as any potential porosity issues.

With over 75 years of die casting surface finishing expertise, our engineers will evaluate your requirements to recommend the best approach to achieve the desired finish for your part. Contact A&B Die Casting today!

2019 | Happy Labor Day!

2019 | Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day, observed the first Monday in September, is a celebration of the labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. This US federal holiday is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Enjoy your day!