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    The process of die-casting aluminum is having a growing impact on a wide variety of different industries, including those on the front lines of today’s most exciting mechanical and technological innovations. Companies that can integrate this technique often enjoy more manufacturing options and lower production costs. However, aluminum die casting may not be for every application despite its apparent advantages.

    What is die-cast aluminum used for?

    Prized for its durability and rigidity in countless applications, aluminum is extremely lightweight and easy to machine. And because of its exemplary performance with electrical and magnetic components, it’s also used for manufacturing electronic housings and connectors. Meanwhile, this heavy-duty machining option is ideal when making parts that are exposed to extreme temperatures and/or weather conditions.

    Thanks to its measurable versatility and dimensional stability, the process offers many more advantages to competitive companies, including:

    • Increased ability to create complex geometries with tighter tolerances
    • Effective combinations of functions to develop unique shapes
    • High production rates with minimal delays
    • Improved strength over plastic injection molding
    • Enhanced external threads included in the cast
    Talk to an expert metal machinist for more information on how aluminum die-casting is used in modern manufacturing. They can help you determine which metal machining tactics to use throughout each phase of your project.

    What products are made from aluminum die casting?

    Aluminum die casting is a relatively common machining method, which means it’s used in a range of distinct projects that require strict adherence to industry standards. Take the cell phone in your pocket, for example. The aluminum castings inside the case provide you with a natural shield against EMI/RFI waves. As a crucial safety protocol, any handheld device without this feature is considered dangerous. So, technology companies must work with CNC machine shops to create legally marketable products.

    Die-cast components can be also found in a plethora of modern objects, even some that don’t have electronic or technological components. In fact, most people are unaware of that their products are even made from die-casted metal because of the excellent manufacturing that hides specific production details. At the same time, well-known products such as door hinges, golf clubs, fishing hooks, and power tool parts have all seen the inside of a CNC machine shop.

    What industries use die-cast aluminum the most?

    Because of the prevalence and simplicity of this method, many industries have jumped on the aluminum die-casting bandwagon without considering the pros and cons. However, only a few sectors should seek alternative metal fabrication methods and a professional CNC specialist can help clients figure that out. In the meantime, here are some of the industries that are most dependent on die-cast aluminum:

    • Automotive
    • Aerospace
    • Firearms
    • Architecture
    • Appliances
    • Home Goods
    • Electronics
    • Toys and Recreation
    • Agriculture
    • Heavy equipment

    Reputable CNC machine shops that fabricate metal can also handle custom orders and complicated specifications. Using advanced technologies, high-performance machines, and expertly honed skills, the right facility can provide rapid services without sacrificing quality or breaking the bank.

    TIP: Work with your team to make sure this is the best process and material, and then calculate the total cost of machining to determine your project’s parameters.

    The problem with die-casting aluminum for certain applications

    Although die-casting aluminum is extremely beneficial to several industries and for numerous reasons, there are some important disadvantages that all project managers should understand. For example, this method has a few limitations in terms of melting points. Aluminum melts at a much lower temperature than some other metals, making it difficult to machine in instances where a combination of materials are used. Meanwhile, ignoring these properties can have expensive and potentially dangerous results.

    Aluminum is also notorious for picking up some of the iron that’s usually sloshing around the molten pool. That’s why alternative metals such as tin, zinc, and lead-based alloys are used primarily in hot-chamber machines. For more details about how aluminum reacts to other materials and/or machining methods, consult your design and engineering teams or create a prototype to troubleshoot the problematic elements.

    DID YOU KNOW: Rapid prototyping can help you cut costs and fix mistakes before your part or product gets mass-produced.

    What is the best aluminum for die casting?

    There are over 6000 grades of aluminum to choose from. They’re also known as silicone and magnesium grades because those two materials are common alloying constituents for die casting in each of the 6000 different aluminum grades. To learn more about to the grade of your material affects machining outcomes, either look at product examples, make a prototype, or talk to someone on your production team.

    Keep in mind that the most commonly used aluminum die-casting alloy is A380. It’s used because it has a proven track record for being physically and mechanically superior to most other grades. For casting that involves high temperatures and/or lots of corrosion, this is the material to use. A380 is both lightweight and strong, although still not ideal for all applications. So, make a conscientious effort to consider other alternatives during the design process.

    How to incorporate die-cast aluminum into your design

    Incorporating die-cast aluminum into your design without wreck the rest of your plans is much easier than you think. That’s because the experts at Pioneer Cuts possess an intimate understanding of material properties and how that relates to their machinability. They can help you determine which applications will work and which ones won’t, all while giving you valuable insights for future projects. So, contact someone on the PC team to get started or submit your project information online for a quick 6-hour quote.

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