Die casting is a manufacturing process that uses high-pressure molten metal to create intricate metal parts. It is a versatile process that can be used to produce a wide variety of parts, including automotive components, electronics housings, and medical devices.
While die casting is a reliable process, it can sometimes produce defects. This article will discuss some of the most common die casting defects, their causes, and solutions.
Die Casting Defects:
When zinc die casting first became available, it quickly gained recognition as a lightweight and cost-effective alternative to other alloys such as tin and lead. Over the past century, zinc alloys have made steady progress. While zinc has always been acknowledged for its high strength, the introduction of the Zamak family, and now the revolutionary EZAC™ alloy, has further enhanced the suitability of hot chamber die casting zinc alloys for a wide range of applications. Prior to the introduction of EZAC™, zinc was often overlooked for applications requiring high tensile strength, especially high-temperature tensile strength. Additionally, most zinc alloys exhibited low creep resistance compared to other materials. These areas of improvement were the primary focus during the creation of EZAC™, resulting in a zinc alloy that surpasses previous limitations.
Heat check is a localized cracking or surface damage that can occur on the die casting mold. It is caused by thermal stress and cycling, which can be exacerbated by factors such as
inadequate cooling, excessive overspray, or thick mold sections.
Gas porosity is the presence of voids or bubbles in the die casting. It is caused by trapped gases, such as air or hydrogen, during the casting process. Gas porosity can be minimized by optimizing part design, improving runner design, and ensuring effective venting.
Soldering is the formation of a thin metal layer on the casting surface. It is caused by erosion or dissolution of the die material due to uneven cooling, localized high temperatures, or improper metal flow. Soldering can be prevented by improving cooling, optimizing part design, and improving metal flow management.
Cracks are fractures or separations that can occur in the die casting. They can be caused by stress concentration, rapid cooling, and uneven thermal gradients. Cracks can be minimized by evaluating casting geometry, adjusting process timing, and enhancing thermal management.
Dimensional concerns involve deviations from desired dimensions and tolerances in the die-cast part. They can be caused by unrealistic print tolerances, variations in process parameters, and thermal expansion effects. Dimensional concerns can be minimized by optimizing tolerances, controlling process parameters, and considering thermal effects.
Flash is the excessive material that escapes between mold halves, forming thin fins or flanges on the casting. It can be caused by insufficient machine tonnage, die wear or misalignment, and suboptimal process parameters. Flash can be prevented by ensuring adequate machine tonnage, conducting regular die maintenance, and optimizing process parameters.
Shrink porosity is characterized by voids or cavities formed due to the shrinkage of molten metal during solidification. It can be caused by non-uniform wall thickness and abrupt section transitions in the part design. Shrink porosity can be minimized by optimizing casting geometry and implementing effective thermal management.
Flow marks (cold flow, non-fill, etc.)
Flow marks manifest as visible lines or streaks on the casting surface due to the flow of molten metal during mold filling. They can be caused by flaws in part geometry and inadequate gating and runner design. Flow marks can be minimized by refining part geometry, utilizing flow simulation software, and implementing real-time monitoring.
A comprehensive understanding of common die casting defects, their causative factors, and practical solutions is pivotal in ensuring high-quality castings. By implementing the solutions discussed in this article, manufacturers can effectively address defects, enhance production efficiency, and deliver products that meet exacting quality standards.
Want to learn more about ways to prevent defects in die casting? Access our online seminar "Overcome Die Casting Defects" This webinar aims to provide insights into how Dynacast overcomes common defects with superior tooling and engineering design.
To learn even more about how Dynacast can help you overcome common die casting defects, please contact us today. We have over 70 years of experience in die casting and can provide you with the expertise and solutions you need to produce high-quality castings that meet your exacting specifications.