By: Martin Gagné, International Zinc Association, USA
Manufacturing products by zinc alloy die casting is an outstanding choice for countless decorative and functional applications. Zinc die casting alloys have high strength, excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, the best surface quality for decorative finishes, high fluidity, ultra thin wall capability and can be cast with low draft, while the zinc die casting process provides high casting productivity, long die life, low energy consumption, and net shape casting.
For example, the figure to the right shows the intricate geometry of a zinc die cast electronics housing. The design requirements for the housing were demanding and included a complex geometry with ribbed walls, through holes in two directions and multiple mounting and connector tabs, along with good thermal conductivity, EMI shielding, tight tolerances and thin wall construction, as well as part-to-part uniformity, and as always, low cost. The accuracy of zinc die casting allows the housing to be cast near net shape, thereby reducing secondary operations. Zinc alloy die casting was selected for its ability to meet all these design requirements cost effectively.
The International Zinc Association (IZA) maintains a website dedicated to zinc alloy die casting where product designers can find information on all aspects of designing for zinc die casting along with relevant case studies. The website also hosts an Engineering Database of mechanical properties for zinc die casting alloys to help designers realize their project in the most efficient way by combining the precision and the cost-effectiveness of the die casting process with the exceptional mechanical and physical properties of zinc alloys.
As many product designers are unaware of the range of mechanical properties available in zinc or the speed and flexibility of the zinc die casting process, the IZA offers a free design seminar which covers every aspect of designing for zinc alloy die casting including the specifications for zinc die casting alloys, the various casting processes that give such flexibility to using zinc, the physical and material properties of zinc, surface finishing of zinc castings, and also the design concepts important for producing parts from liquid metal.
Please contact us for a seminar or for any other information about manufacturing by zinc alloy die casting. www.diecasting.zinc.org