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Alloys

Choose the right alloy because it’s the right choice for your project.

The first step in designing a die cast component is choosing the proper alloy.  CWM has compiled a table of Material Properties based on NADCA Standards for Al 380, Mg AZ91D, Zn No. 3 and ZA-8.  Click here to view the file.

CWM produces die castings in all of the most popular alloys: AluminumMagnesium and Zinc and can therefore provide an unbiased recommendation on the best alloy choice for your die cast project. Each alloy offers you a combination of specific performance and cost advantages which should be discussed prior to making a final alloy decision.

NADCA materials checklist
Click to download

Learn More about Aluminum, Magnesium, and Zinc Die Casting:

The Market for Aluminum Alloys in North America: Trends and Challenges

Martin Hartlieb, President of Viami International Inc., describes the industry for aluminum alloys market in North America. This article studies trends and challenges from both various international resource centers. (OEM Tech Brief, No. 50)

Click here to view the .PDF

10 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Die Cast Parts

6-page guide outlines 10 key cost drivers that design engineers can leverage during the product design stage to yield significant cost savings in the custom production of die cast components. These specific planning steps aid in integrating the realities of die cast manufacturing.

Click here to view the .PDF

1st-ever Triple Winners in NADCA Die Casting Contest

Two Al and one Mg die casting Awards were won by CWM for a first-ever triple win for outstanding custom die castings in the annual North American Die Casting Association’s International Die Casting Competition.(Includes photos)

Click here to view the .PDF

Al Archery Bow NADCA Die Casting Award Winner

The central component for a newly developed archery bow for serious young archers is a high-tech Al die casting produced to precision tolerance specifications and machined look and feel of a “hog out.” Delivered at the targeted market price, on tightened time schedule to tie-in with promotional book and film release dates. NADCA Die Casting Award of Excellence winner. (Includes photos)

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Al, Mg & Zn Die Cast Production Specs 

2-page descriptive detailed data sheet for Chicago White Metal Casting’s current high-tech production specifications, material properties and nominal chemistry for its Al, Mg & Zn alloy capabilities.

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Comprehensive Die Casting Capabilities Brochure

16-page, full-color comprehensive brochure on Chicago White Metal Casting capabilities in the most widely specified die casting alloys— Al, Mg & Zn. From design assistance through production, post-casting machining, surface finishing and final product assembly. Detailed overview covers the experience, advanced technologies, and ISO 9001 & 14001 registered management systems that make CWM the cost-effective choice for net- and near-net-shape die cast parts. Includes case examples.

Click here to view the .PDF

Design & Specification Guide for Custom Die Castings

Updated and expanded 16-page reference to the major design & specification steps that drive the cost and performance of components die cast in Al, Mg and Zn alloys. Among key design and production factors covered: Matching material properties; Die design & construction; Minimizing part porosity; Optimizing part heat transfer; Preplanning post-casting machining, if required; Dimensioning and tolerancing; Flash considerations; Prototyping; and as-cast finish guidelines.

Click here to view the .PDF

Die Casting Design & Production Preplanning Guide

Preplanning Guide to aid OEMs considering custom die cast part production and reviewing existing literature. Organizes selected industry and CWM design resources into a 7-step sequence for the planning process. The source of each die casting design and production bulletin, tech brief, guide, checklist and reference manual is listed, with many available for Web downloading or forwarding by Email. Bulletin contains direct Web links to aid access or requests for all listed documents.

Click here to view the .PDF

Dirt Bike Al Hub with 35 Gear Teeth Cast to Zero Draft

First motocross design produced on American soil in 20 years features many rule-breaking design innovations, such as its “sweet,” solid shifting clutch, made with two high-tech Al die castings. The Al hub has 35 gear teeth cast to zero draft. The crankshaft and engine cover are AZ91D hot-chamber mag die castings, providing strength and lightweight.

Click here to view the .PDF

High-Tech Al & Mg for Advanced Video Imaging System

Designed as part of an advanced digital video processing and control system, Sony engineers specified “perfect parts” for their new professional video camera. CWM high-tech die casting was selected to produce 11 aluminum and hot-chamber magnesium housing components for the new camera. Superior as-cast surfaces were primary specifications.

Click here to view the .PDF

Intricate Al Die Cast Propane Vaporizer-Regulator

Two intricate Al die castings are the heart of a vaporizer-regulator for propane and natural gas vehicles, winning an industry award for their casting excellence. Meeting important thermal and weight specs, the two castings that make up the unit have channel walls, and the spaces between them, that measure 0.040 in. (1.016 mm) thick.

Click here to view the .PDF

Material / Physical Properties Comparison

This chart compares the material and physical properties for three popular die casting alloys: aluminum A380, magnesium AZ91D, Zinc #3 and ZA8. Several material properties such as tensile strength, impact and yield strength can be compared between the three alloys. Physical properties such as density and conductivity can also be examined.

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA Standards: Aluminum Alloy Data

Al alloy selection, machining and finishing data; chemical composition; material properties and die casting and other characteristics.

Click here to view the .PDF

Product Solutions Through Die Casting

Presentation to aid efficiency, functionality and cost savings in the design and production of custom die castings. This narrated webinar focuses on helping effectively capitalize on today’s advanced die casting capabilities to improve performance and lower the costs of their custom components. 1 hour.

Click here to watch the Webinar

Prototyping for Die Casting in All Alloys

Guide to developing optimum prototyping strategies for developing and testing component designs prior to final die casting die construction. Discusses prototyping alloys and processes, including new rapid prototyping technologies.

Click here to view the .PDF

Quick Guide to Surface Finishing for Al, Mg & Zn Parts

8-page condensed resource on evaluating finishing alternatives and optimizing component finishing decisions for Al, Mg and Zn die cast products. Features a comparison table rating 32 surface coatings on relative cost, appearance, wear and corrosion resistance; Presents recommended finishing for a range of typical die cast components.

Click here to view the .PDF

Rugged Al Die Cast Laser Housing Outperforms Plastic

A wireless remote laser unit to aid pipelaying accuracy and efficiency is claimed to be the most powerful laser device of its kind allowed by law. New model offers an Al die cast metal housing to meet extreme, rugged field conditions, difficult for plastic housings to survive.

Click here to view the .PDF

Surface Finishes for Die Casting

Presents the important factors that can affect the outcome of the final appearance of your die cast component when its surface finish is a critical issue. This narrated webinar will aid an understanding of the various finish options, and how their uses and limitations can make the difference between successful product development and costly results. 49 minutes.

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA-ADCI Standards Cross-Reference Chart

Cross-reference chart for former superseded American Die Casting Institute (ADCI) and superseded North American Die Casting Assn. #401 (NADCA) Product Standards and current NADCA Product Standards. (2015)

Click here to view the .PDF

The Die Casting Process: An OEM Designer’s Overview

This overview for OEM designers and specifiers is a refresher for those OEM product design engineers, buyers and purchasing managers already familiar with die casting; and for those new to the process it provides a valuable framework or further pursuit.

Click here to view the .PDF

The U.S. Aluminum Casting Industry

This white paper is a 6-page excerpt of an article that describes the current state of the United States Aluminum Casting Industry as it relates to Aluminum Die Casting. This article was written by The Folk Group. (Truncated Version)

Click here to view the .PDF

Redesign Delivers 40% Unit Cost Saving, 8% Less Weight, Superior Performance

This precision digital projector enclosure required high strength, rigidity, and low weight. The initial unit was produced as two magnesium Thixomold parts, assembled into one with seven bolts. CWM worked with the customer to redesign the enclosure as a single unit for Mg die casting production. The redesign resulted in a 40% final part cost reduction, a unit weight saving of 8%, and assured dimensional accuracy for improved projector focusing performance.

Click here to view the .PDF

Die Casting’s Answer to Plastic: Magnesium

This white paper gives an overview of the benefits of Magnesium Die Casting in comparison to plastic and CWM’s response to magnesium. This paper also references case studies and other valuable resources.

Click here to view the .PDF

Magnesium Die Casting: Solutions for Today’s Markets

Chicago White Metal explores magnesium die casting in this informative webinar. Reviews the unique properties of die casting with magnesium that can be employed in a new design or conversion from another process. The information presented in this webinar is for OEM product designers and engineers who want to understand how magnesium die casting can improve product performance and reduce costs. 50 minutes.

Click here to watch the Webinar

10 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Die Cast Parts

6-page guide outlines 10 key cost drivers that design engineers can leverage during the product design stage to yield significant cost savings in the custom production of die cast components. These specific planning steps aid in integrating the realities of die cast manufacturing.

Click here to view the .PDF

1st-ever Triple Winners in NADCA Die Casting Contest

Two Al and one Mg die casting Awards were won by CWM for a first-ever triple win for outstanding custom die castings in the annual North American Die Casting Association’s International Die Casting Competition.(Includes photos)

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Al, Mg & Zn Die Cast Production Specs 

2-page descriptive detailed data sheet for Chicago White Metal Casting’s current high-tech production specifications, material properties and nominal chemistry for its Al, Mg & Zn alloy capabilities.

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Comprehensive Die Casting Capabilities Brochure

16-page, full-color comprehensive brochure on Chicago White Metal Casting capabilities in the most widely specified die casting alloys— Al, Mg & Zn. From design assistance through production, post-casting machining, surface finishing and final product assembly. Detailed overview covers the experience, advanced technologies, and ISO 9001 & 14001 registered management systems that make CWM the cost-effective choice for net- and near-net-shape die cast parts. Includes case examples.

Click here to view the .PDF

Design & Specification Guide for Custom Die Castings

Updated and expanded 16-page reference to the major design & specification steps that drive the cost and performance of components die cast in Al, Mg and Zn alloys. Among key design and production factors covered: Matching material properties; Die design & construction; Minimizing part porosity; Optimizing part heat transfer; Preplanning post-casting machining, if required; Dimensioning and tolerancing; Flash considerations; Prototyping; and as-cast finish guidelines.

Click here to view the .PDF

Die Casting Design & Production Preplanning Guide

Preplanning Guide to aid OEMs considering custom die cast part production and reviewing existing literature. Organizes selected industry and CWM design resources into a 7-step sequence for the planning process. The source of each die casting design and production bulletin, tech brief, guide, checklist and reference manual is listed, with many available for Web downloading or forwarding by Email. Bulletin contains direct Web links to aid access or requests for all listed documents.

Click here to view the .PDF

Dirt Bike Al Hub with 35 Gear Teeth Cast to Zero Draft

First motocross design produced on American soil in 20 years features many rule-breaking design innovations, such as its “sweet,” solid shifting clutch, made with two high-tech Al die castings. The Al hub has 35 gear teeth cast to zero draft. The crankshaft and engine cover are AZ91D hot-chamber mag die castings, providing strength and light weight.

Click here to view the .PDF

GPS Satellite Tracker Unit in Rugged, Lightweight Mg

Project managers for this satellite positioning system designed a Mg die cast enclosure as advanced as the new technology inside: ultra-rugged; lightweight for field use; waterproof; dustproof, with fail-safe EMI shielding.

Click here to view the .PDF

High-Tech Al & Mg for Advanced Video Imaging System

Designed as part of an advanced digital video processing and control system, Sony engineers specified “perfect parts” for their new professional video camera. CWM high-tech die casting was selected to produce 11 aluminum and hot-chamber magnesium housing components for the new camera. Superior as-cast surfaces were primary specifications.

Click here to view the .PDF

Key High-Tech Mg Parts for Optical Survey System

World leader in global positioning systems selected Mg die castings for the key housing components in their new optical surveying instrument. Machined parts were rejected as cost prohibitive; plastic would not provide the required stiffness for highly accurate readings.

Click here to view the .PDF

Magnesium EMI Shielding Characteristics

Outlines EMI/RFI shielding requirements for electronic assemblies. Presents relationships between common measures of shielding, advantages of die castings in general, and mag die castings in particular, for electronic enclosure shielding. Prepared by Norsk Hydro Magnesium.

Click here to view the .PDF

Material / Physical Properties Comparison

This chart compares the material and physical properties for three popular die casting alloys: aluminum A380, magnesium AZ91D, Zinc #3 and ZA8. Several material properties such as tensile strength, impact and yield strength can be compared between the three alloys. Physical properties such as density and conductivity can also be examined.

Click here to view the .PDF

Medical Imager Mg Multi-function Housing Walls

Two Mg 12 x 17 in. precision die cast housing walls for an all-in-one multi-media desktop medical imager provide light weight, multiple functions and reduced part counts. Each high-tech hot-chamber mag die casting delivers 25 tight-toleranced features as-cast.

Click here to view the .PDF

Mg Die Cast Professional Digital Camera Case

First professional digital camera in a magnesium die cast housing, jointly developed by Kodak and Nikon. Mag, selected over the usual alternative of plastic encasing a stamped metal body or an Al casting, provides ruggedness, light weight and the quality feel of metal.

Click here to view the .PDF

Mg Die Cast Ultrasound Portable Workstation Housing

Eight precision components form the self-contained display and keypad plus probe connector unit for a new all-digital portable ultrasound system. A total component weight of 1.725 lbs. makes the unit lighter than a molded plastic design, with greater drop strength. Winner of a “Design Award of Excellence” from the International Magnesium Assn.

Click here to view the .PDF

Mg IMA Process Technology Award for Auto Mirror

New Mg die cast support structure for an advanced rear view automotive mirror is now being produced in a high-pressure hot-chamber mag die casting machine with trimming operations eliminated. Employing “in-die de-gating,” two-stage ejection technology, borrowed from miniature Zn die cast production, savings include eliminating the trim die build. (Includes photos)

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA Standards: Magnesium Alloy Data

Mg alloy selection, machining and finishing data; chemical composition; material properties and die casting and other characteristics.

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA: Comparison of Mag Die Casting & Plastic Parts

NADCA updated comparison reviews die cast and plastic parts on material availability and recycling, material properties, design tolerances and material costs. Examines the fact that plastic materials that offer higher strength than mag alloys have material costs that are at least four times greater than magnesium.

Click here to view the .PDF

Only Mg Met Strength-Weight Specs for Voice/Data Unit

Ruggedness, impact strength and light weight were key requirements for this handheld field unit for on-site analysis of voice and data. Specifications were met by this hot-chamber Mg die casting housing, which survives 4-foot drop tests to concrete.

Click here to view the .PDF

Portable Die Cast Mg Case with Elastomer Overmolding

Handheld fiber optic cable analyzer introduced in a high-tech magnesium die cast housing with elastomer overmolding. Innovative case, claimed to be the first overmolding of a complex die casting, offers improved performance over plastic at a 20% saving.

Click here to view the .PDF

Product Solutions Through Die Casting

Presentation to aid efficiency, functionality and cost savings in the design and production of custom die castings. This narrated webinar focuses on helping effectively capitalize on today’s advanced die casting capabilities to improve performance and lower the costs of their custom components. 1 hour.

Click here to watch the Webinar

Prototyping for Die Casting in All Alloys

Guide to developing optimum prototyping strategies for developing and testing component designs prior to final die casting die construction. Discusses prototyping alloys and processes, including new rapid prototyping technologies.

Click here to view the .PDF

Quick Guide to Surface Finishing for Al, Mg & Zn Parts

8-page condensed resource on evaluating finishing alternatives and optimizing component finishing decisions for Al, Mg and Zn die cast products. Features a comparison table rating 32 surface coatings on relative cost, appearance, wear and corrosion resistance; Presents recommended finishing for a range of typical die cast components.

Click here to view the .PDF

Rugged Mg Spotting Scope Die Casting Award

This advanced spotting scope, offering the sharpest, brightest viewing at distances greater than possible with premium binoculars, has impressive housing specifications: lightweight portability, absolute ruggedness, 100% waterproof construction— it is nitrogen filled and guaranteed for life. Its central housing is produced as a hot-chamber magnesium high-precision die casting, weighing just 8.0 oz. (226.8 gm) with thin-wall sections as narrow as 0.039 in. (1.0 mm).

Click here to view the .PDF

Still Believe These Five Magnesium Myths?

A 2-page technical paper. Offers the facts to five ‘known’ misconceptions about magnesium die casting. It also discusses the unique properties that can be gained from die casting with magnesium.

Click here to view the .PDF

Surface Finishes for Die Casting

Presents the important factors that can affect the outcome of the final appearance of your die cast component when its surface finish is a critical issue. This narrated webinar will aid an understanding of the various finish options, and how their uses and limitations can make the difference between successful product development and costly results. 49 minutes.

Click here to watch the Webinar

Surface Finishing for Die Casting Bulletin

Brief overview to surface treatment systems for die cast part protection, decoration and improving component performance, for all alloys: Al, Mg, Zn and ZA.

Click here to view the .PDF

The Die Casting Process: An OEM Designer’s Overview

This overview for OEM designers and specifiers is a refresher for those OEM product design engineers, buyers and purchasing managers already familiar with die casting; and for those new to the process it provides a valuable framework or further pursuit.

Click here to view the .PDF

The Plastic vs Die Casting Process Decision

If a structural component requires stiffness and extra strength, a proposed plastic part is usually a good candidate for production as a light weight magnesium die casting. If EMI shielding and green recyclability are a concern, die cast Mg can be a hands down choice

Click here to view the .PDF

The Die Casting Process: An OEM Designer’s Overview

This overview for OEM designers and specifiers is a refresher for those OEM product design engineers, buyers and purchasing managers already familiar with die casting; and for those new to the process it provides a valuable framework or further pursuit.

Click here to view the .PDF

The Miniature Zinc Die Casting Advantage

Presents the facts on why multi-slide, miniature zinc die casting is the preferred choice for small precision components. It enables product designers to learn how this specialized die casting process can substantially reduce component costs and provide optimal precision to a new project design or a conversion from an existing process.

Click here to watch the Webinar

10 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Die Cast Parts

6-page guide outlines 10 key cost drivers that design engineers can leverage during the product design stage to yield significant cost savings in the custom production of die cast components. These specific planning steps aid in integrating the realities of die cast manufacturing.

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Al, Mg & Zn Die Cast Production Specs 

2-page descriptive detailed data sheet for Chicago White Metal Casting’s current high-tech production specifications, material properties and nominal chemistry for its Al, Mg & Zn alloy capabilities.

Click here to view the .PDF

CWM Miniature Die Casting Capabilities Profile, Specifications, Alloy Data

Overview of Chicago White Metal Casting miniature 4-slide Zn 3, 5 & ZA-8 die cast part capabilities, with CWM specifications, alloy characteristics. CWM specializes in delivering miniature parts with any required post-casting finishing, ready for further assembly, including precision machining when net-shapes are not possible.

Click here to view the .PDF

Design & Specification Guide for Custom Die Castings

Updated and expanded 16-page reference to the major design & specification steps that drive the cost and performance of components die cast in Al, Mg and Zn alloys. Among key design and production factors covered: Matching material properties; Die design & construction; Minimizing part porosity; Optimizing part heat transfer; Preplanning post-casting machining, if required; Dimensioning and tolerancing; Flash considerations; Prototyping; and as-cast finish guidelines.

Click here to view the .PDF

Die Cast Zn for Key Computer Structural Component

Computer workstations from Silicon Graphics incorporated a zinc die cast rear cap frame, which combined important structural function with superior cosmetic appearance. The Zn die cast component, selected for its excellent strength, rigidity, EMI shielding characteristics and part consolidation potential, was the first use by the company of a die casting in one of their workstation computers.

Click here to view the .PDF

Replacement for Machined Brass at a 500% Savings

A value analysis of alternate production efficiencies for a low-volume CNC machined brass small component for a medical device resulted in a miniature zinc net-shape die cast replacement at a 500% unit cost saving.

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA Design Manual: Intro & Content

Detailed overview of the contents of the 176-page Product Design for Die Casting manual on optimizing designs for die casting.

Click here to view the .PDF

Material / Physical Properties Comparison

This chart compares the material and physical properties for three popular die casting alloys: aluminum A380, magnesium AZ91D, Zinc #3 and ZA8. Several material properties such as tensile strength, impact and yield strength can be compared between the three alloys. Physical properties such as density and conductivity can also be examined.

Click here to view the .PDF

NADCA Standards: Zinc & ZA Alloy Data

Updated Zn and ZA alloy selection, machining and finishing data; chemical composition; material properties and die casting and other characteristics.

Click here to view the .PDF

Primer on Miniature Zinc & ZA-8 Die Casting

Condensed overview for OEM product designers and engineers on Miniature Zinc & ZA-8 custom die casting for the cost-effective production of small, complex structural components.

Click here to view the .PDF

Prototyping for Die Casting in All Alloys

Guide to developing optimum prototyping strategies for developing and testing component designs prior to final die casting die construction. Discusses prototyping alloys and processes, including new rapid prototyping technologies.

Click here to view the .PDF

Quick Guide to Surface Finishing for Al, Mg & Zn Parts

8-page condensed resource on evaluating finishing alternatives and optimizing component finishing decisions for Al, Mg and Zn die cast products. Features a comparison table rating 32 surface coatings on relative cost, appearance, wear and corrosion resistance; Presents recommended finishing for a range of typical die cast components.

Click here to view the .PDF

Surface Finishing for Die Casting Bulletin

Brief overview to surface treatment systems for die cast part protection, decoration and improving component performance, for all alloys: Al, Mg, Zn and ZA.

Click here to view the .PDF

Product Solutions Through Die Casting

Presentation to aid efficiency, functionality and cost savings in the design and production of custom die castings. This narrated webinar focuses on helping effectively capitalize on today’s advanced die casting capabilities to improve performance and lower the costs of their custom components. 1 hour.

Click here to watch the Webinar

Surface Finishes for Die Casting

Presents the important factors that can affect the outcome of the final appearance of your die cast component when its surface finish is a critical issue. This narrated webinar will aid an understanding of the various finish options, and how their uses and limitations can make the difference between successful product development and costly results. 49 minutes.

Click here to with the Webinar