Innovative Casting Techniques and Complex Part Geometries with Cast Rite
Die-casting is an important and widespread metal fabrication process for any industry that requires non-ferrous metal parts with complicated geometries in large production volumes. Die casting is an efficient and economic process–when the casting parts are designed with the casting process in mind.
The importance of product design for die casting
One vital thing that can be done to ensure that the die casting process proceeds smoothly is simple: get the design right the first time around. Certain features are absolutely necessary to ensure that the part can be ejected from the die with ease, while others are important to keep in mind to prevent flaws and improve the consistency of the project’s quality. Well-designed casting parts are not only simpler to manufacture, but also better suited for mass production, no matter how complicated they might be.
When designing parts for the die casting process, there are plenty of different aspects that should be kept in mind. Here are just a few of the fundamentals to consider.
Undercut areas are a type of recessed surface, and in casting, refer to any sort of indentation or protrusion that could prevent the finished part’s ejection from the die. Many complex die-cast parts have these features, especially if they are going to undergo further machining or assembly. Designing the part so that undercuts won’t be in the opening direction of the dies is vital.
This is the slope or taper incorporated into the side walls of the part, including the outer and inner walls, and any openings created using sliding cores in the process. Proper drafts will enable the part to be easily ejected from the die, and can drastically decrease the metal’s tendency to stick to the die.
Speaking of the walls of a die cast part, consistency across their thickness is vital as well. Unnecessary changes in thickness, or particularly abrupt changes will disrupt the flow of metal into the cavity. This in turn can cause air pockets in the casting parts as well as result in a poor surface finish.
All casting parts have a parting line, the line where the two halves of a die meet. Any dimensions with critical tolerances should not be set across that line, as should any critical cosmetic designs.
Housings and enclosures are typical types of parts made through die casting. These often have features such as small openings for keys, connectors, displays, and other similar characteristics. Areas like this require bridges or cross feeders to ensure the flow of metal into the die is still consistent and unblocked, while maintaining the accuracy of these openings.
As with any manufacturing process, product design will ultimately determine the techniques needed during the die casting process to ensure tight tolerances and high quality. Sliding cores, ribs and bosses, and other tools are often necessary for complicated geometries or features, which is why stating the need for them in the design is so important.
To learn more about product design for casting parts, check out The Importance of Product Design on our website!
If you’re looking for a supplier of quality die casting services, then consider Cast-Rite! We have over seventy years of die casting experience to share with you. You can learn more on our website.