Diecasting was invented in 1838 for the printing industry. In 1849, the first die casting related patent was granted for a hand-operated machine for printing. This process soon caught on and the technique grew rapidly as it made the production of complex parts in high volumes much more affordable. Lead and tin were the main metals that were used in early die casting until aluminum and zinc alloys caught on around 1914.
The most popular and widely accepted precision die cast parts today are made from aluminum alloy, but other materials like zinc, copper, etc. are also available. Improved equipment and manufacturing capabilities has also allowed the technique to evolve from low-pressure injection systems to higher-pressure situations and processes.
The four main steps in precision die casting are: die preparation, filling, ejection, and shakeout.
- Die Preparation – To prepare for precision die casting, the mold cavity is sprayed with lubricant.
- Filling – You close the dies and inject molten metal into the dies under high pressure. Keep the pressure until the casting solidifies.
- Ejection – Dies are opened and the shot is ejected by the ejector pins.
- Shakeout – The last step is to separate the scrap from the shot.