Zinc Alloy Die Casting Services
Zinc die casting is used to produce a wide range of parts and components within numerous types of industrial applications. 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.
Contact us for more information regarding the advantages of zinc alloy die and our zinc die casting processes, or call us at 510-523-2541 and we will be happy to assist you with any questions that you may have.
Zinc Die Casting Process
Zinc can utilize both hot and cold chamber casting processes. Within the zinc hot chamber die casting process the injection mechanism of a hot chamber machine is immersed in a molten metal bath within a metal holding furnace. The furnace is attached to the machine by a metal feeding system called the gooseneck. Through the zinc hot chamber die casting process four or five shot outputs per minute can be produced.
The cold chamber die casting process is opposite that of the hot chamber method. Within cold chamber die casting 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.
Zinc Alloy Die Casting Advantages
Zinc die casting alloys provide an improved combination of strength, toughness, firmness, performance and cost-effective efficiency than other alloys. The zinc alloy die casting properties often exceed the ones of other alloys such as aluminum, magnesium, bronze, plastics and other cast irons. Some of the benefits associated with zinc die casting, include:
- Improved Castability – Due to its fluidity, zinc die castings can be made thinner, more intricate, and more complex, eliminating the need for secondary operations that are often necessary for aluminum and magnesium alloys.
- Shortened Cycle Time – Since zinc utilizes a hot chamber casting process, it has a yield output of approximately four to five shots per minute. When compared with aluminum’s cold chamber die casting process that has an output of two to three shots per minute, it can be determined that zinc can provide increased overall savings due to shortened cycle times.
- Extended Die Life - Due to the low melting temperature of zinc, dies for zinc parts can last up to 10 times longer than dies used for aluminum and about five times longer than dies used for magnesium.
- Ideal Mechanical Qualities – Zinc alloys are stronger than other comparable metals, without the need for secondary processing. This quality saves on the overall cost per part.
Zinc Alloy Die Casting Material Options
At SKS we can diecast zinc Zamak #2, #3, #5, #7, ZA8 and ZA27. Zamak is characterized by excellent retention of impact strength and long-term dimensional stability. It has been used for decades in a multitude of engineering applications with excellent performance results.
Often referred to as Kirksite, this zinc alloy is the only Zamak that is used for gravity casting. It also provides the highest strength and hardness of all Zamak alloys. Zamak 2 is also a good bearing material and may eliminate bushings and wear inserts in die cast designs.
This zinc alloy is often the first choice when zinc die casting is considered. Zamak 3 maintains an excellent balance of desirable physical and mechanical properties, superb castability and long-term dimensional stability.
Zamak 5 provides increased strength and hardness over Zamak 3. It is the most widely used zinc alloy in Europe.
This high-purity alloy contains lower magnesium content while maintaining tighter impurity specifications. This results in improved casting fluidity, ductility and surface finish.
ZA-8, or zinc-aluminum alloy, contains significantly more aluminum than the Zamak group of alloys. ZA-8 contains approximately 8.4% aluminum and is the only ZA alloy that can be hot-chamber die-cast, an important consideration when selecting a material for a component.
ZA-27, or zinc-aluminum alloy, contains significantly more aluminum than the Zamak group of alloys. The number 27 represents the approximate percentage of aluminum.
Zinc Die Casting Applications
Due to its unique cost and time-saving properties, zinc is commonly utilized in a wide range of industries for numerous applications. Some of the industries that regularly utilize parts and components manufactured through the zinc alloy die casting process include:
- Appliance manufacturers
- Mechanical design