What Is Zinc Die Casting?

Zinc Die Casting is:

  • A low-cost raw material 
  • Thermally conductive
  • Electrically conductive 
  • Excellent in accuracy and stability with high dimensions
  • Incredibly strong and has great hardness  
  • Able to cold form, which eases joining 
  • Exceptionally corrosion-resistant 
  • Fully recyclable

 

High-pressure zinc die casting is one of the most efficient and versatile high-production methods used for manufacturing strong, accurate, and complex metal components. When it comes to zinc die casting, there are two basic families. The conventional or ZAMAK alloys, which are commonly named based on their sequential development. These include Alloy 3, Alloy 5, and Alloy 7. Then there are the zinc alloys with higher amounts of aluminum than the conventional alloys, ZA. These include ZA-8, ZA-12 and ZA-27. ZA alloys offer higher strength, and useful bearing properties.

The Zinc Die Casting Process

 

The high-pressure zinc die casting process is carried out in an automatic machine suitable to withstand high pressure. The molten metal is pushed into a two-piece steel die containing one or more cavities, each an exact inverse replica of the part or parts. the mechanical properties of pressure zinc die castings are generally superior to other casting processes because of the quick chill and rapid solidification that takes place when the molten metal comes into contact with the relatively cool steel side.

What are the Advantages of Zinc Die Casting?

When talking about the advantages of zinc die casting, oftentimes, other casting processes can’t compare to zinc in terms of production time. A variety of casting processes are available to economically manufacture cast parts of whatever size and quantity required. However, die casting production rates for zinc are much faster than for aluminum or magnesium. Also, zinc alloys are castable to closer tolerances than any other metal or molded plastic. “Net Shape” or “Zero Machining” manufacturing is a major advantage of zinc casting. Zinc die casting can produce repeatability of less than ± 0.001” for smaller components. Only a few other processes, like aluminum die casting, can achieve the same net shape performance and eliminate machining. 

 

Another huge advantage of using zinc die casting is that zinc’s superior casting fluidity, strength, and stiffness permits the design of thin wall sections for reduced weight and material cost savings. PHB Corp. handles all aspects of zinc die casting from mold design and testing to zinc component manufacturing, finishing, and packaging. With zinc’s excellent bearing and wear properties that allow greater design flexibility and reduce fabrication costs, we can take the most complex design specifications and turn them into a finished product quickly and efficiently.

Zinc Die Casting Applications– Industrial & Automotive Industries 

The process of zinc die casting is highly popular for making parts in building and industrial fields, but its most common application is in the automotive industry. In fact, cars have different parts that can be crafted through die casting, so much so that the modern process of die casting originally started for the automotive industry. Zinc’s high strength and hardness lend itself to many solutions and it’s the ideal alternative to machined, pressed, stamped, and fabricated components. Many applications can be zinc die cast manufactured, including: 

  • Interior automotive 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

As said before, the automotive industry is the most common application of zinc die casting. With zinc die casting’s already impressive anti-corrosion zinc properties, PHB Corp. is a leader in manufacturing high aesthetic quality and narrow tolerances zinc die castings.

Zinc Die Casting or Aluminum Die Casting? Is There a Better Option?

Aluminum is by far the most frequently used alloy in die casting. The most common aluminum die casting alloys are A380 and A383. Both offer the best combination of material properties and castability. Aluminum alloy die castings are used in a wide variety of industries. It is common to see this alloy in electronics, communications equipment, automotive components, gear cases, lawnmower housings, hand and power tools, and many other products. Zinc and ZA alloys are commonly used for smaller die castings or die castings that require thinner sections. Zinc alloys generally allow greater variation in section thickness and can maintain closer tolerances. The impact strength of zinc die cast components are higher than the other common metal alloys. Also, because Zinc and ZA alloys require lower pressure and temperatures in comparison to magnesium and aluminum alloys, the die life is significantly longer and maintenance is relatively minimal.

 

Deciding which alloy is best suited for a specific application is usually based on the design specifications. The alloy usually provides physical and mechanical properties that fit the end product application. Aluminum die cast manufacturing is best for light applications, whereas, thinner/smaller applications are best when they are zinc die casted. It is important for a product designer seeking a die casting supplier to understand each type of alloy being offered and what benefits are involved.

choose phb for your aluminum die casting needs today