Aluminum Die Casting vs. Zinc Die Casting: The Benefits and Uses of Each

Mike Burkhart / September 13, 2021
Aluminum Die Casting vs. Zinc Die Casting: The Benefits and Uses of Each

As a global leader in manufacturing for die casting, PHB pours vast quantities of aluminum and zinc every year. We are a global aluminum die casting manufacturer that does it all, serving clients ranging from automobile manufacturers to the U.S. military and beyond. PHB is also one of the world’s leading zinc die casting manufacturers, with those clients ranging from large appliance manufacturing companies to the automotive industry. While these two alloys are both commonly used for die casting, they each contain separate properties that make them a better fit for certain uses or products. Here, we will observe the benefits applicable to each alloy.

Benefits and Uses of Zinc Die Casting

Zinc alloys are best known for their high ductility, impact strength, and their ability to be easily plated or finished. They also have a lower melting point than aluminum, which can assist in promoting longer die life. Due to these benefits, less material is often needed than would be if working with other alloys, leading customers to save both time and money on their project. When it comes to zinc die-cast manufacturing, PHB handles all aspects of the process, starting with mold design and testing and continuing with zinc component manufacturing, finishing, and packaging.

While often used in industrial spaces and building, one of the most common applications of zinc alloys is to produce automobile parts. Some automobile parts zinc is typically used for include (but are not limited to):

  • Interior aesthetic parts
  • Engine and other “under-the-hood” components
  • Power steering systems
  • Brake parts and systems
  • Air-conditioning components and systems
  • Fuel systems
  • Complex net-shaped housings
  • Electronic devices

Interestingly enough, due to the number of part production it requires, the automotive industry was at least partially responsible for the die casting process to begin with.

Benefits & Uses of Aluminum Die Casting

On the other hand, aluminum die casting alloys are lightweight and possess high dimensional stability that works particularly well for complex part geometries (including thin walls). Aluminum alloys have strong corrosion resistance and mechanical properties as well as high thermal and electrical conductivity, making them a great alloy for die casting. It is common to see aluminum alloys used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Electronics
  • Communications equipment
  • Gear cases
  • Lawnmower housings
  • Hand and power tools
  • Some automotive components

While zinc alloys are easier to plate or finish, aluminum die-cast parts have more surface finishing options and can withstand higher operating temperatures than other non-ferrous materials. Just as we do with zinc die casting, PHB handles all aspects of aluminum die-cast manufacturing, from mold design and testing to precision aluminum parts manufacturing, finishing, and packaging.

PHB is a Zinc Die Casting & Aluminum Die Casting Manufacturer

PHB Inc. is a U.S.-based company and full-service manufacturer of quality products in the aluminum die casting, zinc die casting, and tool & die industries. To recap, zinc is thermally conductive, electrically conductive, exceptionally corrosion-resistant, accurate and stable with high dimensions, able to cold form, and fully recyclable.

Because of these benefits, zinc alloys are commonly used to manufacture complex metal components that require a high degree of strength and accuracy, including pieces with thin walls that may not be possible to produce with other alloys. Meanwhile, aluminum is used to produce accurate, well-defined, smooth, and textured-surfaced metal parts due to it being lightweight and durable, highly corrosion-resistant, highly conductive, relatively cost-effective, fully recyclable, and more efficient when producing a high volume of parts very quickly. Deciding which alloy is best suited for an application is usually based on the design specifications, and our team is happy to discuss the physical and mechanical properties necessary for your end product’s application.

PHB serves manufacturing companies and OEMs that demand the highest level of quality. From automotive to appliances, regardless of your industry or product, PHB has the expertise to choose the best alloy for your die-cast product. As an ITAR registered, IATF certified die casting company, we are also able to complete projects for government and military work. PHB solves active die casting problems by specializing in turning complex design specifications into a reality for our customers.

Contact PHB for a quote or for more information.

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