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When you think of aluminum die casting, do you think of big, bulky components with thick wall sections? Don’t worry, we did too! What if I told you that we can now cast aluminum parts that are almost as lightweight as their magnesium counterparts and offer more benefits like higher tensile strength and additional finishing options? In the past, design engineers have shied away from aluminum die casting because of the need for thicker wall sections (typically 1.5mm – 2.0mm) creating heavier parts.
You might be asking yourself, “Why is it difficult to cast aluminum with thin walls?” Well, aluminum has a very high melting and freezing point so when molten metal is injected into a die, the aluminum starts cooling quickly and becomes solid. The window between the liquid state to the solid state is very narrow, which means the fill time needs to be less than 30 milliseconds for a thin-wall (0.5mm – 1.0mm) feature to be created. Our engineers do this with extremely precise process control—even small adjustments to more than a dozen variables can be the difference between success and failure. Good tooling design is equally important. Our tooling engineers need to find the perfect balance of the runner system and gating design, proper overflow placement and design, and targeted thermal management.
Not interested in aluminum? Try our dynamic metal selector tool to compare mechanical and physical properties of other alloys.
Evolution of The Thin-Walled Aluminum Technology
Historically, in order to cast aluminum with thin-wall sections, we would have used custom formulated high-fluidity alloys. However, our engineers recently developed a method to apply this technology to standard alloys. By using improved process control, state-of-the-art tool design, and machine enhancements, we fundamentally changed the die casting industry forever.
Benefits of Thin-Walled Aluminum Die Casting
One of the most important benefits of thin-walled aluminum die casting is that it creates lighter parts—with more surface finishing options than other die cast alloys. Creating a part with 0.5mm walls instead of 2mm offers a 75% reduction in weight, which is a big deal—especially when you’re trying to take weight out of an automobile component or a hand-held mobile device. Aluminum can also withstand the highest operating temperatures of all the die cast alloys. Moreover, cast aluminum is versatile, corrosion resistant; it retains high dimensional stability with thin walls, and can be used in almost any industry.
If you would like to learn more about our thin-walled aluminum die casting process, contact our team today! We’d be happy to go over your next project with you and offer you a free quote.