Designing Zinc Die Cast Components
It is essential for Engineers designing and developing products for a competitive marketplace to specify the most effective materials for the job. They need to know the general attributes of a wide range of materials such that they can rapidly zero in on those most suitable. But materials cannot be considered on their mechanical properties alone; it is the combination of the material and it’s possible forming options that must be appraised.
When looked at in this light zinc diecasting alloys have much to offer. They are strong rigid and tough, they have high electrical and thermal conductivity, they can frequently be cast “net shape” and when post casting forming operations are necessary they offer good machinability and ductility. The hot chamber diecasting process used for the vast majority of zinc alloy diecastings provides high productivity and the die life for zinc alloys is outstanding; hence production costs are low.
Zinc alloy diecastings can be finished in a wide range of ways from simple passivation to organic coatings or electroplating, but perhaps the majority are used without any applied finish, taking advantage of the materials good resistance to corrosion in natural environments.
Zinc alloys are environmentally sound, the casting process generates insignificant quantities of effluent, the castings are safe to use and at the end of the products life the zinc alloy is readily recyclable via currently existing technology.
Zinc alloy parts, many pressure diecast “net shape”, are used in a wide range of industries. The outstanding consistency of the material and the process are utilised to bring economy, reliability and effectiveness to the assembled products.
The purpose of this publication is to give a good grounding in the attributes of zinc diecasting alloys and the design and development of diecast zinc alloy components. It will help engineers decide whether a zinc alloy diecasting is appropriate, both technically and economically for any particular application and serve as a guide towards a component design that will maximise value and reliability and minimise overall costs. Only the “hot chamber” diecasting alloys are considered here.