why zinc die casting is used for automotive components
The zinc Die Casting process is widely used for making components in industrial and building sectors, but the most common application of it is in the automotive industry. In fact, automobiles have different components that can be made by means of zinc die casting, so much so the modern process originally started for the automotive sector.
With zinc die casting, there is usually no need for machining after the process. Its accuracy is almost 100%, and cast parts can also be used raw because they have a smooth finish. The use of zinc die casting is just about 28% in the automotive sector, followed by hardware and building segments.
Zinc has become a prominent metal in the automotive industry, particularly for products such as door lock housing, retractor gears, pawls, and pulleys in the seat belt system. By using zinc and its alloys, die casters can achieve a ductility, malleability and strength which cannot be reached using other materials.
Furthermore, zinc can be one of the best choices to get parts with high-quality aesthetics, strict tolerances and embossing, as well as grooves for mechanical parts or gear parts.
Benefits of Zinc Alloys
Zinc alloys used in die casting makes it possible to develop items and simplify production, which provides a durable product. The strength, stability and ductility of zinc allow specialists to get a better, more resistant end product. The high ductility feature of zinc makes it an ideal choice for the die casting process, wherein it is essential to sustain pressure as well as expand without fracturing. The other benefits of zinc alloys are as follows.
Thermal and electrical conductivity.
Strong stability, which makes for an end product with top quality finishing properties.
Zinc alloys contribute to the resistance to corrosion, which increase their durability, especially in harsh environments.
The low melting point of zinc means it needs less energy for manufacturing.
By using zinc in production, it is also possible to make complex, thin-walled as well as technically demanding components with high precision.
The die cast parts are a fit for electroplating.
How Zinc Fares in Comparison to Other Materials Used in Die Casting
Each alloy has unique characteristics with regard to mechanical and physical properties. These factors are actually fundamental to determine the end product’s durability, strength and functionality. The product’s complexity, wall thicknesses, as well as the needed precision will have an effect on just how castable it is in actual. These elements have to be regarded as the main points to organize zinc die casting production in a better way.
There are different die casting methods, depending on metal choice and design application: cold chamber and hot chamber are two of them. High pressure hot chamber die cast manufacturing is perfect for metal with a low melting temperature, like, for instance, magnesium or zinc. On the other hand, cold chamber die casting process is used for alloys like aluminum that have high melting points.
Other materials that compete with zinc alloys in the industry include cast iron, aluminum, machined steel, machined brass and magnesium. Selecting alloys is not an easy decision to make, and die casters have to analyze material density, melting temperature required, yield strength, tensile strength, elasticity and product’s application to get better output.
Zinc Alloys versus Aluminum
A difference between zinc alloys and aluminum is the low melting point of the former, and its requirement for low pressure in the die casting process. For these reasons, die cast manufacturers regard zinc alloys as the most castable options. Having a low melting point gives a longer lease of life to die casting tools, and because dies are pricey, using them for a long period is an effective approach to produce high volume parts in relation to cost.
Zinc Alloys versus Cast Iron
As opposed to cast iron, zinc has relatively lower casting cost, superior electrical and thermal conductivity, and more precision. However, comparing cast iron with the alloys is difficult as there are a wide variety of materials for the iron casting process, and each one has different properties, which makes it not possible to define these materials in the strictest sense.
Zinc Alloys versus Machined Brass
As of now, zinc alloys have a relatively lower process and material costs, fewer process scrap and equal or better tolerances are achievable in comparison to machined brass. The term “brass” relate to a wide array of cast materials, which have different properties, so it is not possible to strictly define each of these materials.
Zinc Alloys versus Machined Steel
Zinc has relatively lower process costs, an equivalent or better tolerances achievable and better corrosion resistance than machined steel.
Zinc Alloy versus Magnesium Castings
A notable difference between zinc alloys and magnesium is the former require lower temperature and pressure for casting. Magnesium requires a special surface treatment for finishing and corrosion resistance, while zinc alloys have to exceptional corrosion resistance as well as a superior surface.
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