What is Die Casting?

Die Casting refers to the process of producing metal parts formed by a die (mold).   This process allows products to be made on a mass production scale with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability.   The process begins by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a die cast die.  The die can contain one or many cavities (cavities are the molds that create the part shape).  Once the metal solidifies (as quick as 20 seconds) then the die is opened and the shot (gates, runners and parts all connected) are removed and the process begins again.  Following the die casting operation the shot is usually processed further on a trim die where the gates, runners and flash are removed.  The part can then be processed further by vibratory deburring, shot blasting, machining, painting, etc.

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Process Flow at TDC (slide show)

Die Casting FAQ’s from NADCA (North American Die Casting Association)

Advantages of Die Casting Parts
  • One of the main advantages of die casting is the ability to produce parts and products with a wide range of shape and sizes.
  • Die cast parts are stronger than their plastic counterparts.  In most cases, this allows parts to be produced with thinner walls while maintaining the strength that is required for its application.
  • Die cast parts are able to withstand to a broader range of temperature, making it more ideal in harsh temperatures and working environments.
  • The die casting process can allow manufacturers to produce complex parts to net shape.  This reduces subsequent machining processes making die casting one of the most efficient processes to mass produce complex non-ferrous metal parts.
  • Compared with sand and permanent mold castings, the die casting process is able to produce parts with thinner walls due to the high pressure during the injection process.  Thereby  allowing for a more lightweight construction with smoother surface finishes.
  • The die casting process allows inserts to be cast-in to form certain features such as threaded inserts and high strength bearings.