Die casting, a type of metal casting, uses the process of forcing molten metal into two steel dies that make up a cast. Die casting is typically used in a high-volume production setting and is known for producing high-quality, consistent product. The equipment used for the die casting process typically has a higher initial cost compared to processes that use sand molds. However, the day to day cost of manufacturing using die casting tends to be on the lower end, thus producing a lower cost per item.
The die casting process was originally devised in 1838 to create “movable type” machines (think of a giant stamp with movable letters). The first patent related to the die casting process was eventually received in 1849 about 20 years later when die casting equipment became available to the North American market the applicable uses spread as well. In the 1900’s, a mixture of tin and lead were used for die casting and would go through several different trends before the use of aluminum became the best option.
High-pressure die casting is the new craze when it comes to this method of metal casting.
As opposed to low-pressure die casting, high pressure die casting is easily automated and has a shorter casting cycle. Low-pressure die casting is performed using a vertical process that shoots the molten metal upwardly from the furnace below, whereas high-pressure die casting utilizes a horizontal process. The molten metal is pushed through a shot chamber by a piston into the two dies. In this case, one die is fixed while the other is able to be pulled away to let the casting free itself from the mold once it is cooled.
While this new trend speeds up the process, there are a few drawbacks to using high-pressure die casting. High-pressure die casting is a big investment. The process is also limited to smaller parts as the locking mechanism can only handle up to a certain weight. However, this has prompted the ability to make stronger castings of lesser weight using aluminum alloy, a change that has brought great benefits to other industries looking to minimize the weight of their components.
After the die casting process, castings are moved for further processing or checked for quality. In some cases, if the standards are not met the casting will be sent back to the furnace to be melted and recreated. This process requires a system of vibratory conveyors and feeders to move the castings to where they need to go.
Why is vibratory better? The answer is simple. Belt conveyors simply cannot handle as much volume and wear quickly. Vibratory conveyors and feeders can handle larger castings and scrap without being damaged or melting from the heat. General Kinematics offers a wide range of die casting equipment, including the V-TROUGH® Vibratory Inclined Conveyor, TRENCHVEYOR™, and TWO-WAY™ Vibratory Feeders. Each our pieces of equipment is customizable to fit your needs.
To learn more about what vibratory equipment can do to fit your die casting needs, call today and talk to a GK engineer!