All industries today are concerned with waste disposal and the environmental impact of their manufacturing processes. Practically every nation has passed multiple laws designed to limit waste and protect the environment. When designing new parts it is important to not only design it for optimum functionality and easy fabrication but also its ultimate destiny at the end of its useable life. Basically, can the materials used to create the product be repurposed or recycled when the product is no longer useful?
A typical finished consumer product has more than one material used in its creation. For example, let’s look at an automobile. Approximately 75%-85% of the salvaged metal parts are removed and recycled at the end of the automobile’s useable life. However, a much lower percentage of plastics can be recycled and reused than most people know. Only about 9% of all plastics used (across every industry) can be recycled; the other 91% are dumped in landfills. This gives metal formed products a big environmental advantage over plastic products.
Die casting already boasts so many benefits – it is economical, efficient, repeatable, and reliable. Die castings also providing superior Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) shielding properties over plastics, which help to meet ever increasing FCC requirements for many medical, telecom, and industrial applications. Did you know that die casting is also one of the most recyclable metal forming processes? Just about all metals and metal alloys are recyclable and since the die casting process does not include hazardous chemicals it poses no problems in handling or reprocessing the materials. Currently, over 95% of all aluminum die castings in North America are made from post-consumer recycled aluminum. Utilizing the recycled materials also saves energy on primary aluminum production which helps conserve nonrenewable energy sources.
Die casting is environmentally friendly in three major ways – it uses less waste, offers high accuracy, and long part life.
1.) Less waste
Reducing, recycling, reusing. Overall die casting produces less waste and consumes less energy than other metal forming processes. Die casting typically utilizes long-lasting reusable dies (or molds) and materials such as aluminum, zinc, and magnesium alloys which are easy to recycle. These factors help lower the environmental impact of creating the metal parts.
2.) High accuracy
High accuracy also has a positive impact on the environment. The die casting process creates parts that are exact to narrow tolerances, and does so repeatedly. Meaning you can cast thousands of identical items at specification without wasteful adjustments, unnecessary energy expenditure, or material scrap. You can also cast threads or other features directly into the part which eliminates some secondary operations and further energy expenditures per part.
3.) Long life
Die cast parts also do not degrade over time due to temperature fluctuations or UV exposure, which are common problems with other materials, such as plastics. They also provide excellent mechanical properties – strength, stiffness, durability, etc. Die cast metal parts eliminate, or reduce, the need to find new sources of materials which lowers potential chemical pollution from extraction and purification, damage to the ecosystem or water supplies from mining materials, overall energy consumption related to the work and transportation, and other negative environmental impacts.
Ready to get started?
A&B Die casting is committed to environmental safety. We utilize only 100% recycled materials and offer an exciting array of recyclable aluminum and zinc options along with providing high quality secondary surface finishes and treatments (such as paint, plating, and powder coating for functionality and decorative appeal).
With over 75 years of die casting expertise, our team of experienced engineers will evaluate your requirements to help you decide which would be the best option to achieve the desired result for your part. 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 your individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting today to get started on your next project!