How Can 3D Printing Benefit Your Die Casting?

How Can 3D Printing Benefit Your Die Casting?

Die casting is an extremely popular, effective, and reliable manufacturing process for creating metal products. Die cast parts produce high quality, uniform pieces that can be created in just about any size, part geometry, surface texture, or finish. They also require minimal secondary processes since many features can be integrated into the design such as studs, hinges, drill holes, and bosses, to name just a few.

Die casting is a time-tested manufacturing method that is dramatically benefitting from newer technologies such as 3D printing. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, gives engineers greater design flexibility since a 3D printer can print just about anything that you can imagine and model a drawing of.

What are the benefits of 3D printing for die casting?
3D printing has quite a few clear benefits for die casting, such as:
• Design flexibility
• Easy to revise designs
• Perfect for prototyping or testing proof of design
• Saves you time and money

3D printing is an inexpensive way to create and test a working model of a design. Utilizing this technology to test your designs makes it easier to make design revisions without the high costs of making multiple dies. The technology helps die casters bypass a lot of costly and time-consuming aspects of creating and testing out dies and is a great choice for achieving proper fit and function of a product when you are testing out the design before beginning high-volume production. This equates to better die cast products, faster production times, and quite a bit of cost savings.

How does A&B Die Casting utilize 3D printing?
Die creation is expensive, utilizing 3D printing to check the part design for fit and moldability, as well as revising it quickly as needed prior to the creation of the production die will save you both time and money. Creating 3D models utilizing FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling Machine), as A&B Die Casting does, helps the die caster address potential design for manufacturability (DFM) issues to optimize the part for the die casting process.

Not only is 3D printing valuable in DFM (Design For Manufacturability) with the mold design but it also helps with secondary operations that will be needed to bring the product to its final specifications. It allows the die caster to develop machining fixtures, as well as get a head start on writing the machining and CMM inspection programs. All of this facilitates getting the actual FA castings processed to completion and approved for production faster.

The use of 3D printing in design for manufacturability in die casting has proven to save time, reduce costs, and ensure better results. Utilizing 3D printing technology is ideal for highly complex casting jobs, facilitating both greater design freedom and cost-effectiveness in pattern and mold production.

Ready to get started?
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 our customer’s individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting today to get started on your next project!

The Benefits of Die Casting Zinc for Medical Device Parts

The Benefits of Die Casting Zinc for Medical Device Parts

The medical industry continues to break through technological barriers at a rapid rate in order to continuously revolutionize the way the medical profession can deliver healthcare.
• The way surgical procedures are done
• The way replacement parts are made
• The way medical data is obtained or analyzed
• And the way various other aspects of healthcare are constantly changing and evolving

As new ideas are developed, traditional methods are giving way to new approaches and new technologies. However, one thing remains the same – when it comes to human health, there can be no compromise in quality. The challenge with designing medical devices is striking a balance between products that address clinical needs, minimize human error, and increase patient safety. They must also be biocompatible (hygienic, antimicrobial) and able to withstand not only regular use but also regular cleaning and disinfecting without damaging the functionality or appearance of the device.

Zinc is the alloy of choice
Zinc alloys are optimal for casting parts requiring intricate detail and close dimensional tolerances at high production rates. Zinc alloys are castable to closer tolerances than any other metal or molded plastic. Zinc casting alloys are stronger than reinforced molded polymers and zinc’s hardness, self-lubricating properties, dimensional stability, and high modulus make is suitable for working mechanical parts.

Complex shapes, high density, with thin walls
Due to the high density and extremely thin-walled casting ability of zinc die cast alloys, hand-held medical devices can be designed for better overall usability. Features such as weight, balance, valence, haptic feedback, and inertia can be specifically engineered to provide a more comfortable experience for both the medical professional and the patient.

RFI/EMI shielding capabilities
If the medical device contains sensitive electronics the shielding capabilities inherent to zinc become an incredibly important feature. You want to ensure that the functionality of a sensitive medical device is not adversely being affected by the electrical or electromagnetic radiation from other devices.

Zinc is currently used to produce a wide range of medical device parts for products such as:
• Blood pressure monitors
• Breathing aids
• Defibrillators
• Pacemakers
• Patient monitoring systems
• Ultrasound systems
• and much more

Overall, Zinc is a casting alloy that offers high precision with lower tooling costs. Zinc’s superior strength and hardness is an ideal alternative for machined, pressed, stamped, and fabricated components. Zinc is optimal for complex, multi-faceted, versatile, net shaped parts with thin walls while offering excellent electrical performance and shielding properties which makes it an ideal choice for use in medical applications.

How can A&B Die Casting help with your medical project?
A&B Die Casting leads the industry with a trusted worldwide reputation for unique economical approaches and value-added services for all of your die casting solutions.

We also understand that people’s health and safety rely on the dependability of the products we help create. We work closely with our medical device customers to help them design and produce economical, top-quality, parts from the foundation of the product by generating prototypes throughout the proof-of-concept stage and every stage towards FDA approval.

Medical device manufacturers can count on us for:
• Consistent quality
• Cost-effective production
• Tight tolerances
• Complex component capabilities
• Cast housings that are extremely durable
• Fully recyclable materials
• Wide variety of finishes
• Value-added engineering services
• And more

With over 70 years in the business, we’ve been at the forefront of revolutionary changes by consistently refining our equipment and processes to ensure we provide our medical device customers with leading-edge technology and the highest quality parts.

Need assistance or want to get started on your next die cast project? Contact A&B Die Casting today!

Porosity in Die Cast Parts and What it Means to You

Porosity in Die Cast Parts and What it Means to You

What is porosity in die casting?
Porosity refers to small voids, holes, or pockets of air that are found within a finished part. These holes typically occur when air is trapped in the material being worked with. Porosity is a big concern in die casting, though it is typically acceptable in non-critical areas.

Porosity can happen in a variety of ways. Air can become trapped by the die cast machinery leaving gaps at the top of the die, it can occur when filling a mold too slowly, or when some of the material being used solidifies too soon. It can also occur when the air used to force molten metal into the mold isn’t completely forced out or able to escape through vents and overflows.

Causes of porosity in die casting:
• The design of the mold and cast parts
• The purity of the metal or alloy being used
• Pressure and shot speed of the machines
• Shrinkage of the material wall thickness
• Too much lubricant in the die
• Sharp corners in the mold
• Low metal temperatures
• Air trapped in the metal

How do you check for porosity?
• X-ray the finished material
• Using computerized tomography
• Cutting and polishing a section and then analyzing it under a microscope

Can it be prevented?
Porosity varies in severity and can occasionally be acceptable in the final product, but generally it is best to limit it as much as possible. There are so many areas that need to be closely monitored in order to avoid porosity – the die casting process (such as the design of the mold), purity of the metal, low metal temperatures, pressure and speed of the machines, and more.

The best way to minimize porosity is to make sure the engineers and the die caster are working closely together to provide strategic guidance from the very beginning of the project. In addition, making sure the die caster is experienced and is using only top quality materials also greatly reduces any possible issues with your die cast part.

Need a hand?
Early involvement with a seasoned die caster is essential in avoiding issues with your cast and any possible expensive corrective steps needed down the line. With over 74 years of experience in die casting, A&B Die Casting understands your materials, designs, and parts as well as the casting process factors that are most likely to cause different types of defects. This wealth of experience enables us to prevent many defects before they even occur. We can also assist with redesigning elements to address porosity-prone areas and shift them to locations that will not impact structural integrity.

If you are developing your own tolerance limits, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) lists the standards for porosity in castings on their website (https://www.astm.org/). They are an excellent resource for standards, books, journals, and articles for a variety of industries, materials, and products.

If you are concerned about the porosity of your casting, we recommend you contact us directly and chat about your specific project.

-A&B Die Casting
(877) 708-0009
www.abdiecasting.com

How Important is Temperature when you are Die Casting?

How Important is Temperature when you are Die Casting?

Die casting temperature control is a serious issue. When it comes to die casting, as temperatures increase the tensile and yield strengths of the alloy decrease. Ductility also increases as the temperature increases but differs based on the type of alloy being cast. The proper temperature is crucial for both the die and the metal to be cast. The metal being cast needs to be heated correctly to ensure proper flow and fill of the mold. If the temperature of the molten metal is too hot for the mold, it could damage the mold. If the temperature of the mold is too cold, the metal will cool too quickly as it flows into the mold and will cause defects.


Metal flowing into a die

What temperatures need to be closely monitored?
• The temperature of the die itself
• The temperature of the die casting machine or casting chamber
• The temperature of the alloy used for casting

All three of these temperatures must be kept within their individual optimum range in order to produce the highest quality die cast parts.

What is the proper die temperature?
The die temperature will depend on what alloy you intend to cast. You want to avoid putting excess strain on your die, stressing the die will lower the life expectancy of the die itself. It is best to pour your alloy into your die when it is approximately 50° to 70° degrees higher than the crystallization temperature of the alloy. The die needs to be maintained at approximately a third of the alloy’s temperature.

What is the proper die casting chamber/machine temperature?
The temperature required for the die casting machine is a complex calculation that includes things such as the alloy type, die type, size of the part to cast, and more. The chamber temperature needs to be determined by an experienced die caster.

What is the proper alloy temperature?
Alloy temperatures vary greatly depending on the material. Here are two examples of the most common die cast alloys – aluminum and zinc.

Aluminum
Aluminum 360, 380 and 413 are by far the most popular metal choices for die casting. Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, lightweight, and extremely durable. When casting aluminum 380, for example, you will get a tensile strength of 48 at 75° with yield strength of 24 KSI (Kips per Square Inch). If you increase the temperature to 212°, you will get a tensile strength of 45 KSI, while the yield strength stays constant at 24.

Zinc
Zinc 3, 5, and 7 are also incredibly popular die casting alloys. For these zinc alloys, a temperature of 75° produces an average of 40 KSI. If you increase the temperature to 275° you will produce an average KSI around 10.

Optimal temperature ranges for surface finish:

What happens if the temperature is incorrect?
If the temperature of the metal being cast is too hot for the mold it can damage the mold, which dramatically shortens the effective usage life of the mold. If the temperature is too cold the metal will cool too quickly as it is flowing into the mold which can cause defects (such as porosity problems or misruns).

How can A&B Die Casting help?
Here at A&B Die Casting we take the issue of temperature control very seriously. We are highly experienced at keeping our materials and casting equipment at the optimal temperature. We utilize 3D flow analysis software to ensure optimal die filling for superior casting quality. The software allows us to simulate how the specified material will flow into the a mold so that we can more accurately gauge the overall effectiveness of the mold as well as identify any potential issues with the material temperature fluctuations while it flows into the mold.

For over 70 years A&B Die Casting has been serving world-wide manufacturers with low-to-medium volume aluminum and zinc die castings. Our experienced team creates solutions for your production needs from the formative stages of engineering and prototyping to machining, finishing, assembly, packaging and shipping with adherence to your exact specifications.

Need assistance or want to get started on your next die cast project? Contact A&B Die Casting today!

Design Geometry Considerations for Die Casting

Design Geometry Considerations for Die Casting

Producing a top quality die cast component part starts with a solid and well thought out design. The goal of any die cast design is to create a casting that will maximize the function of the part, while being one that can be produced fairly quickly, efficiently, with few defects, and little to no secondary operations necessary.

There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when designing a die, such as:
• Wall thickness
• Wall thickness uniformity
• Draft
• Pockets
• Fillets and corners
• Ribs and bosses
• And more

Wall thickness
Wall thickness is the distance between two parallel (or nearly parallel) surfaces and will vary depending on the thickness to length ratio of the entire part. If your part is very long it is difficult to maintain a very thin wall. You want your wall thickness to be as thin as possible while maintaining the strength and overall functional requirements necessary for your specific application.

Typical minimum wall thickness:

Wall thickness uniformity
Ideally, you want a design that creates uniform wall thickness all around the casting. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be 100% the same on all sides, only that you should strive to minimize drastic wall thickness variations. Dramatic variations in wall thickness can result in different rates of cooling along the cast wall which can alter the dimensions of the finished part. Uniform thickness also allows you to better control the flow of the metal into the die in order to ensure a complete fill.

Draft
When it comes to die casting a draft refers to the slope or taper that run in the direction of the die’s opening. The taper should be greater on the interior of the die walls than it is on the exterior walls so that when the alloy cools and solidifies it will shrink and fit more tightly on the inside of the casting. The greater the interior draft, the easier the finished part will be to remove from the die and the more precise the finished product will be.

Pockets
If your part needs to be light, pockets are excellent inclusions in die cast designs. Basically these pockets, also referred to as metal savers, are open spaces or holes placed in the design of the die. Strategically placed pockets make your final part lighter without compromising any of the structural integrity.

Fillets and corners
Fillets are the curved parts of the casting where two surfaces would normally have come together at a sharp angle. They are added to a die casting to eliminate hard edges and corners that are not desired in the final part. It is best to utilize large inner and outer corner radii for the cast part. The larger the radii the stronger the final part will be.

Ribs and bosses
Bosses generally serve as stand-offs and mounting points, while ribs are added to provide support without increasing wall thickness. If it is possible, design any necessary ribs and bosses directly into the die cast. These features help eliminate sharp corners and help increase the overall strength of the finished part.

Consulting with an experienced die caster during the design phase will help eliminate any potential problems affecting tooling and production of your new part.

How can A&B help?
A&B Die Casting leads the industry with a trusted worldwide reputation for unique economical approaches and value-added services for all of your die casting solutions. We pride ourselves on doing the hard work upfront so that we can generate the most value to our customers for years to come.

Need assistance or want to get started on your next die cast project? Contact A&B Die Casting today!

Die Castings vs. Hog-Outs

Die Castings vs. Hog-Outs

Die casting is an extremely popular manufacturing process for creating metal products. Die cast parts produce high quality, uniform pieces that can be created in just about any size, part geometry, surface texture, or finish. They can require minimal secondary processes since many features can be integrated into the design such as studs, hinges, drill holes, and bosses, to name a few.

What are the advantages of die casting?
• High quality: Die cast parts deliver a long service life.
• High reliability: Exceptional uniformity of mass-produced parts.
• Quick production: Die cast tooling requires minimal maintenance.
• Versatile: Die casting can create virtually any size, part geometry, surface texture, or luster.
• Minimal assembly: Assembly features such as studs, drill holes, and bosses can be integrated into the mold design.

What is a hog-out?
A hog-out is a part that has been fully machined from a bar or blank rather than formed, net shape, by a casting or forging process.

What are the primary advantages of hog-outs versus die castings?
• Flexibility: Changes can be made on a part-by-part basis, as the design is being developed. Design changes can be made, without the need for capex tooling changes.
• Lead time: A hog-out can be produced very quickly, usually measured in days.

What are the primary advantages of die castings versus hog-outs?
• In many cases, once tooling has been built, the die casting can be produced for a cost that is near the material cost for the hog-out alone.
• Features and design details that are very costly to produce in a hog-out can be readily incorporated into the die cast tooling and will carry through to every part made from that tooling.

Why choose die castings over hog-outs?
Die casting allows you to create sharply defined metal parts from a durable range of non-ferrous metals. Die casting enables the production of components with fine details and features without the need for additional processing. Additionally, die castings can be made lighter than can be done economically with hog-outs since the additional machining time for removing extra material in a hog-out can be costly.

Though hog-out parts are perfect for quick prototyping of 1 or 2 components, short production runs, smaller-sized items, or to test the fit of a component in something else; die casting becomes the clear choice once part design has been finalizes and production is anticipated. Hog-out parts also become incredibly expensive as part size increases due to the material needed as well as the machinist’s time machining the component.

Need a hand?
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 our customer’s individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting today to get started on your next project!

UPDATE! A&B Die Casting is open.

UPDATE! A&B Die Casting is open.

UPDATE: As of 03/23/2020 A&B Die Casting is open again for business.

Why are we open again so quickly? Manufacturers Have Been Deemed “Essential” Businesses. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued new guidance last week deeming many types of manufacturers to be “essential business,” and the NAM is now calling on all states and localities to adopt their new guidelines so that manufacturers and supply chains can maintain their normal work schedules to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of last week, the NAM urged governors and mayors to follow the federal guidance so manufacturers can continue to provide lifesaving goods and services. California has been the first state to quickly adopt these updated federal guidelines.

We are committed to employee safety and are taking all necessary precautions to keep our workforce and community safe while they work through this pandemic.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Please contact us directly with any questions, concerns, or to place an order.

We look forward to continuing to work with you.
-Steve Dathe, President

ATTENTION : Temporary Closure (03/17-04/07/2020)

ATTENTION : Temporary Closure (03/17-04/07/2020)

ATTENTION:
At 1:00PM today, in response to the expanding COVID-19 pandemic, six San Francisco Bay Area counties announced a “shelter in place” order for all residents — the strictest measure of its kind in the country — directing everyone to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible for the next three weeks.

The directive begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 17 and involves San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties — a combined population of more than 6.7 million. It is to stay in place until at least April 7. The order falls just short of a full lockdown, which would forbid people from leaving their homes without explicit permission, and it wasn’t immediately clear how, or to what degree, it would be enforced. The order calls for the sheriff or chief of police to “ensure compliance.” The Bay Area orders are the most restrictive yet in the U.S. The region is the first to direct people to stay at home as much as possible and avoid even small social interactions.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time for all. We will make every effort to keep all communications current and accurate though please keep in mind that both manufacturing and shipping will be affected by this temporary interruption in operations.

-Steve Dathe, President

What is the difference between aluminum and zinc alloys when die casting?

What is the difference between aluminum and zinc alloys when die casting?

Die casting is one of the most cost-effective, accurate, and versatile manufacturing processes in the world today. The process involves injecting molten metal, under pressure, into a reusable die (mold) and once solidified it can be ejected and finished (if necessary) in a variety of ways. The dies are generally constructed of high quality steel and the alloy cast is most commonly aluminum, magnesium, or zinc.

The alloy utilized in your casting will affect the part’s final properties, function, overall price, and life of your die. Aluminum and zinc are the two most popular metals to die cast and each have their own physical and mechanical properties which affect their cast-ability. Magnesium is the third most popular alloy to die cast but A&B does not work with it. Factors such as strength, longevity, melting temperature, and functionality need to be looked at closely before choosing the proper alloy. When choosing an alloy for your die cast parts machining and finishing operations also need to be taken into account.

Aluminum Alloys

Aluminum alloys are the most common alloys used in die casting today. They can be found in most items that we use every single day since are strong, lightweight, and economical for high-volume casting. Aluminum is very rarely used in its pure form because it tends to crack and shrink; therefore it is typically mixed with other materials including copper, magnesium, and silicon to help increase the alloy’s fluidity, elasticity, corrosion resistance, tensile strength, and hardness to provide it with superior mechanical properties. Aluminum alloy die cast parts tend to maintain their strength at high temperatures, possess good thermal and electrical conductivity, and can be cast with intricate geometries and thin walls while maintaining their strength.

Zinc Alloys

Zinc alloys are perfect for smaller and more complex shapes since no other alloys can be cast with such tight tolerances and thin walls. Zinc’s superior strength and hardness is an ideal alternative for machined, pressed, stamped, and fabricated components. Zinc also has excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, requires less tooling or secondary operations, and can be cast at moderate temperatures which provide significant energy and processing savings over other metals and engineering alloys.

How do you determine which alloy to choose for your die cast project?
Die casting offers the ability to create a wide variety of parts produced with precision at high speed. To determine which alloy would be best for your specific project you need to look closely at each alloy’s unique mechanical and physical properties since these will dramatically impact the performance and longevity of your application.

Other factors to take into consideration:
• Raw material cost
• Size of the finished part
• Wall size capability
• Tensile strength and hardness
• Weight requirements for the finished part
• Strength-to-weight ratio
• Dimensional stability and accuracy
• Corrosion resistance
• Thermal conductivity
• Electrical conductivity
• Finish needs and options
• Machining characteristics
• Recyclability

The alloy you select plays a huge role in the overall cost and performance of your die cast components. Since each alloy used in die casting offers its own unique benefits for your final die cast parts there is quite a lot to factor into the design and engineering of a new component.

It is not always easy to select the right alloy for your project. Need a hand? 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 alloy option for your application 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 our customer’s individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting to get started on your next project today!

Assembly Methods for Die Cast Parts

Assembly Methods for Die Cast Parts

Die casting is an extremely popular manufacturing process for creating metal products. Die cast parts produce high quality, uniform pieces that can be created in just about any size, part geometry, surface texture, or finish. They can require minimal secondary processes since many features can be integrated into the design such as studs, hinges, drill holes, and bosses, to name a few. There are quite a few methods to assemble individual die cast parts made from aluminum or zinc.

These methods include:
• Adhesive bonding
• Attachment systems
• External threads
• Forming or self-cutting fasteners
• Injected Metal Assembly (IMA)
• Inserts
• Interference fits
• Threaded fasteners

Adhesive bonding
Adhesive bonding between metals is becoming a more popular practice among die casters. The adhesive “wets” the entire surface to be joined and must have a lower surface tension than the materials being joined. Joints that are subjected to high tension are generally not suitable for adhesive bonding. Adhesive bonds are also prone to thermal degradation and peeling. Adhesive bonding is extremely popular for bonding sheet steel in automobile bodies.

Attachment systems
Attachments that require plastic deformation of the casting is usually limited to alloys with high ductility, such as zinc.

Attachments of this nature include:
• Crimping
• Staking
• Swaging

Adhesive bonding has become much more popular since the stresses are spread out more uniformly and exposed surfaces are not disturbed. They also offer other benefits such as sealing, insulating, and corrosion barriers.

External threads
It is possible to cast external threads on cylindrical features under specific circumstances. Threads can be formed across the parting line of the die with either slides or solid components. Flash can get left in threads with slides, or made across parting lines, which can be quite difficult to remove. If the flash isn’t severe, it can be removed through the process of the bolt and nut installation. Many manufacturers prefer casting flats at the root of the thread on the parting line so that the flash forms on the flats making it very easy to remove.

Forming or self-cutting fasteners
This type of assembly utilizes hard steel fasteners that anchor to the die cast part itself by either forming to or cutting into the part as they are installed. Die cast alloys are typically relatively soft and readily accept these types of fasteners.

These types of fasteners include:
• Spring clips
• Stamped nuts
• Self-tapping screws
• Thread-forming screws

In most cases properly sized holes can be cast into the part to accept the required fastener. Spring clips and stamped nuts develop a relatively low retention force where as self-tapping and thread-forming screws have a much higher retention capability. Though, fasteners that cut form small chips where they bite into the metal part which may not be tolerable in certain finished projects, such as sensitive electronic equipment.

Injected Metal Assembly (IMA)
The IMA process is very similar to the adhesive bonding process except IMA utilizes a molten alloy to bond components together. The process creates a strong, permanent, mechanical “lock” that can withstand high loads and can also bond metals to non-metal parts. The process requires no special surface preparations and issues such as thermal degradation and peeling are not very common.IMA bonds also perform exceptionally well in harsh environments.

Small components of just about any material can be joined utilizing IMA, such as:
• Ceramic
• Elastomers
• Fibers
• Metals
• Paper
• Plastics

Inserts
Inserts are used when the design will impose conditions that exceed the capabilities of the alloys such as excessive thread wear, concentrated loads, abrasion, and wear at a bearing point. However, inserts cause residual stress within the cast part so proper planning for long term retention is vital. There are two types of inserts that can be installed – cast-in-place or post-installed inserts. The cycle time and the cost are usually what determine which type of inserts is used.

Cast-in-place inserts allow for a wider range of mechanical lock securing options since the alloy is cast directly around the insert. They are required to be as dimensionally accurate as the die into which it is inserted, which increases both the cycle time and cost per part. However, with very large castings it is more economical to use cast-in-place inserts since the cycle time is already increased due to the size of the cast part.


Examples of cast-in-place inserts

Post-installed inserts are more economical for faster run, smaller parts produced on highly automated machines and projects which have less stringent tolerances.

Interference fits
These types of fits are used to retain components, such as bearing and dowel inserts. If the interference is light (0.001 in./in [0.001 mm/mm] or less), the installation can take place with both parts at room temperature. Heavy interference usually requires the parts to be heated and may also cause metal removal which will lead to a reduction in retention. The removal of metal on the parts depends on the hardness of the metals, the amount of interference, lubricant use, and the leading edge of each part.

Threaded fasteners
Threaded bolts, or studs, are commonly used to join die cast parts together. If the attachments are made in sections with thin walls clearance holes are needed in order to allow the bolt to pass through. The bolt would then be secured in place with a nut.

Bosses are capable of being designed into the casting itself to receive bolts or studs into tapped holes. Though the boss diameter will need to be at least twice the size of the bolt’s diameter since die cast joints are more prone to dilation.

Also, keep in mind that in order to minimize porosity in the cast area where the thread is present, the tapped holes need to be cored. Both coarse and fine threads can be tapped although coarser threads are generally preferred.

The process of die casting and any secondary assembly operations 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 assembly method you will use can help to minimize any potential problems as well as reduce costs and speed up production time.

Need a hand? 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 fastener option to join your components 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 our customer’s individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting today to get started on your next project!