Zine Die Casting
A Long period of time Ago
For more than 5,000 years metal has been cast, turning raw ore into usable tools. In the beginning the castings were limited to really simple and little structures, but nowadays we see castings weighing anything from an ounce to countless pounds. New casting processes established over the last hundred years allows modern casters to produce extremely thin and complicated castings that can be made with predetermined quality attributes at levels well below the visual. These are not single castings produced in a laboratory; these are mass productions with minute tolerances for measurements, grain structures, mechanical homes and strength.
Initially, casting was restricted to gravity pouring of liquid metal into a mould. In the 19th century, a more mechanical casting technique was established. The very first zine die casting-related patent was given in 1849 for a small hand ran maker for the purpose of mechanized printing type production (1), the leader these days’s high pressure zine die casting makers.
In the high-pressure zine die casting, procedure liquid metal is not put by gravity into a sand mould, however required by high pressure into a steel pass away. The advantage of this procedure is that it is the fastest method from liquid metal to a final product. Casting walls can be very thin and most dimensions do not need to be machined after the casting process. Hundreds of thousands of castings can be made from a single die, keeping the expenses low and the quality high.
Where there is light there is shadow. The benefits are purchased by an expensive investment in the zine die casting machine and related devices and in the die in specific, high quality steel where the casting shape, a melt feeding system (runner) and cooling lines are machined into. Finding the right die design satisfying its purpose needed a lot of experience of the responsible engineers, in addition to substantial efforts utilizing experimentation.
There has actually been tremendous development in modernization and enhancements in high pressure zine die casting throughout the last decades, consisting of automated sprayers and casting extraction systems, more effective melting heating systems and pouring gadgets, better controlled die-casting makers and electronic monitoring systems. All these enhancements made zine die casting processes more efficient, much better manageable and assisted producing greater quality castings.
At the very same time, however, today’s zine die casting market is facing challenges early casters did not see. Experienced metalcasters are moving into retirement – yet at the exact same time, lots of stores are having difficulty in hiring young engineers to train as replacements. The need for greater quality standards for the castings, international competitors, consumer demands for lower prices and the hard financial circumstance across the world, all impact the bottom line and business revenue margins. Add to this the increasing need to shorten product development times requires that the caster produces excellent castings the first time, or the cost structure to make loan is in jeopardy.
Towards completion of the 1980’s, process simulation was presented to the world of zine die casting. Process simulation enables the metalcaster (or designer or engineer) to create a simulation of the part to be cast, forecast possible results based on input variables, and optimize those results by utilizing the processing power of the computer system, instead of the traditional experience-based trial-and-error methodology. With the dawn of the home computer and workstations on every desk, process simulation appeared to every engineer. Supported by Computer system Helped Design (CAD) systems volume models might be produced fast and be utilized as direct input for simulations.
Simulations done in1993 might take up to a month for the casting shape input and an extra month for the estimation and result examination. Today, practically 20 years later on, total casting files are packed into the software application by mouse clicks and be computed in minutes. Now the outcome evaluation is the most work-intensive part of the simulation and takes the longest time. Engineers have to go through different outcomes files and compare them to each other to get a good understanding about the used design and process parameter. Despite the fact that the soft- and hardware are much faster than years earlier, the human element is not and engineering takes still hours or days until a last recommendation can be made.