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?
• Electroless Nickel Plating
• Brushed Metal Finishing
• Ball Burnishing
• Chemical Conversion Film
• 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 a 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!