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What is Aluminum Die Casting?

What is Aluminum Die Casting?

Aluminum die casting is a highly efficient manufacturing process for creating near-net-shaped parts with complex geometries. The process uses molten metal – in this case, aluminum alloy – injected under extreme pressure into a custom steel die positioned within an automated machine.

Benefits of Aluminum Die Casting

Compared to other manufacturing processes, aluminum die casting is efficient, cost-effective, and capable of producing high volumes of parts with consistent quality.  Aluminum’s advantages and characteristics include the following:

  • Lightweight: Aluminum is an ideal material for products where less weight is desirable.  
  • Strong and Durable: Although lightweight, aluminum is also strong and durable. Aluminum castings can withstand heavy use and harsh environments without degrading or breaking down.
  • High-Quality Surface Finish: Aluminum die casting can produce parts with a high-quality surface finish, making them ideal for applications where appearance is important.
  • Cost-Effective: Aluminum die casting is a cost-effective manufacturing process, as it can produce high-quality parts within seconds. 
  • Environmentally friendly: Aluminum die castings are 100% recyclable. The raw material is made from recycled aluminum, and all excess material and scrap is recycled in-house.

Aluminum Die Casting Applications

Aluminum die casting is a highly versatile solution for applications across numerous industries. For example, it is used in the automotive industry to make powertrain components, electronic housings, and decorative and structural parts, which help drive enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. Other industries that benefit from and utilize aluminum die castings include medical equipmentconsumer recreational productsindustrial applicationsalternative energy solutionselectronic housings, and agricultural/construction/mining components

A380 is the Workhorse Alloy for Aluminum Die Casting.

A380 is the preferred aluminum alloy for die casting due to its exceptional mechanical properties and castability combination. This alloy can be used to create intricate and complex shapes that can be easily replicated at high volumes, and A380’s impressive strength and durability make it well-suited for applications where structural integrity is crucial.  For more information on A380’s physical and mechanical properties, download the NADCA datasheet HERE.

CWM’s Capabilities

With eleven aluminum casting machines, with 300 to 1,000 tons of locking force, CWM can produce aluminum parts in sizes from 0.75′ x 0.75″ to 20″ x 20″.

CWM also provides Engineering Design Services and a full complement of one-stop-shop, value-added processing, including deburring, machining, coating, painting, plating, and assembly. 

Request a quote or contact Chicago White Metal today for more information!

Learn More About Aluminium Die Casting:

The Market for Aluminum Alloys in North America: Trends and ChallengesThe 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)

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

10 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Die Cast Parts10 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.

View the PDF: 10 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Die Cast Parts

1st-ever Triple Winners in NADCA Die Casting Contest1st-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)

View the PDF: 1st-ever Triple Winners in NADCA Die Casting Contest

Al Archery Bow NADCA Die Casting Award WinnerAl 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 a tightened time schedule to tie-in with promotional book and film release dates. NADCA Die Casting Award of Excellence winner. (Includes photos)

View the PDF: Al Archery Bow NADCA Die Casting Award Winner

CWM Al, Mg & Zn Die Cast Production Specs 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.

View the PDF: CWM Al, Mg & Zn Die Cast Production Specs 

CWM Comprehensive Die Casting Capabilities BrochureCWM 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.

View the PDF: CWM Comprehensive Die Casting Capabilities Brochure

Design & Specification Guide for Custom Die CastingsDesign & 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.

View the PDF: Design & Specification Guide for Custom Die Castings

Die Casting Design & Production Preplanning GuideDie 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.

View the PDF: Die Casting Design & Production Preplanning Guide

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

The 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.

View the PDF: Dirt Bike Al Hub with 35 Gear Teeth Cast to Zero Draft

High-Tech Al & Mg for Advanced Video Imaging SystemHigh-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.

View the PDF: High-Tech Al & Mg for Advanced Video Imaging System

Intricate Al Die Cast Propane Vaporizer-RegulatorIntricate 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.

View the PDF: Intricate Al Die Cast Propane Vaporizer-Regulator

Material / Physical Properties ComparisonMaterial / 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.

View the PDF: Material / Physical Properties Comparison

NADCA Standards: Aluminum Alloy DataNADCA Standards: Aluminum Alloy Data

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

View the PDF: NADCA Standards: Aluminum Alloy Data

Product Solutions Through Die CastingProduct 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 AlloysPrototyping 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.

View the PDF: Prototyping for Die Casting in All Alloys

Quick Guide to Surface Finishing for Al, Mg & Zn PartsQuick 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.

View the PDF: Quick Guide to Surface Finishing for Al, Mg & Zn Parts

Rugged Al Die Cast Laser Housing Outperforms PlasticRugged 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. The new model offers an Al die cast metal housing to meet extreme, rugged field conditions, difficult for plastic housings to survive.

View the PDF: Rugged Al Die Cast Laser Housing Outperforms Plastic

Surface Finishes for Die CastingSurface 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 BulletinSurface Finishing for Die Casting Bulletin

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

View the PDF: Surface Finishing for Die Casting Bulletin

The Die Casting Process: An OEM Designer's OverviewThe 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.

View the PDF: The Die Casting Process: An OEM Designer’s Overview

The U.S. Aluminum Casting IndustryThe 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)

View the PDF: The U.S. Aluminum Casting Industry