Die Casting Manufacturing and Machining Services

Die casting is a versatile process that produces engineered parts through a forced high-pressure method of forcing molten metal into molds made from high grade steel. SKS’s die casting processes produces castings with close tolerances, often eliminating the need of machining operations.

Our team will work together with you providing complete in-house design/ engineering and tool design/die operations to manufacture die cast parts to your exact specifications.

Contact us for more information regarding our machining die casting services and our machined cast parts, or call us at 510-523-2541 and we will be happy to assist you with any questions that you may have. SKS Die Casting and Machining, Inc. is your trusted source for machined die casting services.

Thin Wall Aluminum Die Cast component with many detailed, precision holes and curves

Types of Die Casting Material

At SKS, we can perform numerous die casting methods utilizing different types of die casting materials including both aluminum and zinc alloys. Some of the advantages associated with both materials include:

Die Casting Aluminum 

Aluminum alloys have been proven ideal for a wide range of products because of the unique combination of qualities they possess lightweight, good corrosion resistance, high tensile strength, high dimensional stability, and high thermal and electrical conductivity.

Alloy 380.0 is the most used Aluminum alloy for die casting and has been found to meet customers' various needs. Importantly, SKS can also cast Aluminum Alloys 360, 390 and 413.

Die Casting Zinc 

The mechanical properties of zinc alloy die castings at normal temperatures are superior to sand castings of grey iron, brass, and aluminum, particularly in toughness and impact strength. They are much stronger, tougher, and more dimensionally stable than injection molded plastics. The reduced cost and improved properties have made it an ideal replacement for iron, copper, aluminum alloys or plastics parts.

Machined Die Cast Part Advantages

Die casting allows for the creation of parts with complex shapes and intricate designs at a price point that doesn’t break the bank. Some of the greatest benefits associated with die casting include:

  • Advanced production speed
  • Accurate dimensional stability
  • Tight tolerances
  • Variable wall thicknesses
  • Fast production times
  • Reduction in scrap
  • Extended tool life

Closeup details of an aluminum alloy casting, commonly used in petroleum pumping stations. Additional details of an aluminum alloy casting for petroleum pumping stations, showing sectioned machined component. Closeup details of an original sand casting component manufactured by SKS Die Casting. 

Description of component: BODY PUMP

Function: oil pumping station, air & gas filtration pump. Each component is required to meet a pressure test of over 5,000 psi without resulting in damage to the component assembly.

Die cast machined component weight: 2 lb. 14 oz.

Original component: machined sand casting

Rejection rate: 20%
Production rate: 5 – 7 pcs per shift

Die casting component:

Reject rate: <1%
Weight reduction: 5%
Production rate: 250 pcs per shift
Cost Reduction: over 50%. 

Example of an aluminum alloy casting used on a home security device. Details of an aluminum alloy casting for home security. 

Component description: Home security lockbox
Original component raw material: steel tubing
Manufacturing processes: bending, welding, machining, painting. The original manufacturing process is virtually a custom made-to-fit component.

Die casting component raw material: zinc.
The die casting process virtually eliminates the variability of both critical and functional features of the component. The reduction in cost and lead time is dramatic.
Cost Reduction is over 50%.

Machined Die Casting Service Options & Process Cycles

The basic die casting process consists of injecting molten metal under high pressure into a steel mold called a die. A complete die casting cycle can vary from less than a few seconds for small components to 2-3 minutes for a casting of over 30 lbs., making die casting the fastest technique available for producing precise non-ferrous metal parts. The following processes are routinely used to create custom die casting applications.

Clamping

The first step in the die casting process involves the preparation and clamping of two die halves. Once cleaned and properly prepared, the two clean die halves are lubricated to prevent sticking and then closed, securely clamping them together. During this phase, force must be applied to the die to keep it secure while the metal is injected.

Injection

Once transferred from either a hot or cold chamber machine, the molten metal is injected into the die through a high-pressure process. These pressures can range from 3,000 to 20,000 psi. The total injection time required for a project will depend upon the length of time required to fill all the cavities and channels within the die. The correct duration of injection time can be determined by the thermodynamic properties of the material, as well as the wall thickness of the casting. Greater wall thickness will require a longer injection time.

Cooling

The cooling process begins the moment the molten metal enters the die cavity. Once the entire cavity of the mold is filled and the molten metal solidifies, the final shape of the casting is formed. It is important that the die not be opened until it has completely cooled. This ensures that the casting is completely solidified. Greater wall thickness will require a longer cooling time. Additionally, the geometric complexity of the die also requires a longer cooling time due to the additional resistance to the flow of heat.

Ejection

Once the proper amount of cooling time has elapsed, the die halves can be opened and ejected from the die cavity. Once the casting is ejected, the die can be clamped shut for the next injection.

Trimming

Excess material and flash must be trimmed from the channels of the die due to solidification during the casting process. This is accomplished either manually or through the assistance of a trimming die. saw, or trimming press. The scrap material that results from this trimming is either discarded or can be reused in the die casting process.

a die cast component that says "Centurion Vision System"

Machined Die Casting Applications

Depending on your specific parameters, one type of die casting method may be favorable over another. At SKS Die Casting we can perform numerous types of die casting, ensuring that your part is suitable for the environment in which it will perform. We are capable of the following types of die casting:

Cold Chamber Die Casting

Within this die casting process, molten metal is poured into the cold chamber or cylindrical sleeve by ladle. A hydraulically operated plunger seals the cold chamber port and forces the metal into the die cavity at high pressure. Cold chamber die casting machines are used for Aluminum or Zinc alloys with high melting points.

Machining Services for Die Cast Parts

The design of the casting is critical for providing good flow and fill characteristics for the die casting and providing you with useful locating features and sufficient machine stock. If there's not enough machine stock within the initial design, you'll be scrapping parts after you've invested machining time into them.

The machining process of die cast parts must be considered well before any order for the tooling is released. A careful evaluation of machined requirements can lead to redesign for net shape die-casting or near-net shape with a reduced number of operations.

  • Complete date: 3D CAD models and 2D drawings, quantity, and all specs.
  • Tolerances with focus on GD&T, flatness, porosity, and cosmetics.
  • Die Cast and Machining Datums.
  • Machining stock regardless of final tolerances and porosity specs.
  • Surface treatment, such as Powder Coating (PC)Black Anodize and how this will impact tolerances.
    • Cast/machine/PC and masking or cast/PC (no masking) and machine.
    • Black Anodized with tolerances under 0.001" hardly feasible to accomplish and different appearance compared with AL 6061 T6.
  • Dimensional and cosmetic Inspection criteria.
  • Parting Line and moving mold components affecting dimensional tolerances.
  • Gate location and size in relation to porosity specs.

Learn More About SKS’s Die Cast Manufacturing & Machining Services Today

At SKS, we are proud to provide machining, finishing, mold development, and more for die cast parts. Please explore our die casting services, contact us to learn more about our machining services for die cast parts, or request a quote for further pricing details today. You can also give us a call at 510-523-2541 or email at sales@sksdiecasting.com. SKS Die Casting and Machining is your premier source for high quality machining and die casting services.