The Federal Group has been providing high-quality die casting services for more than 40 years. We manufacture custom metal die-cast parts to companies in a variety of industries.
While die casting relies on high pressure to force the liquid metal into the mold, sand casting involves pouring molten metal into a sand mold.
The sand casting process includes a mixture of sand and clay pressed into boxes called flasks. The model part is placed in the mixture, creating a mold. The molten metal is poured into the mold to create the desired shape.
When the metal cools, the sand is blasted away. Our sand casting process produces high-quality parts with minimal porosity and defects compared to die casting. Sand castings are also suitable for a wider range of materials.
While we offer alloy die casting services, die castings do not work with all materials. Sand castings can be made from various ferrous metals and non-ferrous alloys. However, sand casting is a more exhaustive process.
If you have a short timetable for your product development cycle, die casting is the preferred manufacturing process. Our die casting services include fast turnaround for most projects.
Vacuum die casting is a unique version of the die casting process. In conventional die casting, molten metal is injected into a mold under high pressure.
In vacuum die casting, a vacuum is applied to the die cavity before or during the injection of molten metal. This process offers several advantages, primarily in reducing the presence of gas porosity in the final die cast parts.
Ferrous metals such as carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel all can rust because they contain iron. It’s possible to die cast these metals, but due to their propensity to rust, it’s quite uncommon.
Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum and copper, contain only trace amounts of iron, at most. Therefore, they don’t rust. But they can corrode, a factor that’s primarily dependent on the given working environment.
At The Federal Group, we also offer high-pressure die casting and gravity casting based on the requirements of the project or the properties of the components.
Gravity casting is typically used for heavy products and high-volume production runs. It relies on gravity to allow the melted metal to naturally flow into the mold cavity. Compared to sand casting, this process is better suited for projects that require thin walls or a smooth surface.
Along with gravity casting machines, we have several types of high-pressure die casting machines including 600-ton, 800-ton, and 1200-ton machines. These machines allow for fast turnaround, thanks to shorter casting cycles.
Of course, like with other metal fabrication processes, die cast parts will only be as good as the molten metal being used in their production. The source metals will impact the overall quality, durability, and aesthetic appearance of the finished product. As such, this blog will explore the various metals involved in the die casting process.
Aluminum is one of the most popular metals used in die casting. Aluminum is a very lightweight metal, so it’s great for creating lightweight parts without sacrificing strength. Aluminum parts can also withstand higher operating temperatures and have more finishing options.
Despite being pricier options, aluminum and aluminum-zinc alloys are definitely worth the cost in industrial applications. They are incredibly corrosion-resistant materials that contribute to an extended lifespan and improved safety. Furthermore, the strength, hardness, and weight ratios are unparalleled.
Another clear advantage of molten aluminum is that – plainly – it’s easy to cast. Its electrical and thermal conductivity properties are optimal. These characteristics make aluminum an excellent option in the production of components for computing, energy management, and other tech fields.
Because of these many benefits, aluminum casting is very popular in the production of things like industrial components, automobile parts, tech products, aerospace products, and much more.
In addition to aluminum, zinc is another very popular metal used in die casting. Zinc is typically used for casting products for the automotive and medical supply industries.
When items are being customized for aesthetic purposes, zinc castings tend to be the best choice. The material can be plated or painted depending on the need. It also offers a smooth surface to work on. Zinc allows fabricators to produce components capable of custom aesthetic quality as well as strict and narrow tolerances for shapes morphology
Zinc has a low melting point, which means it requires less energy for production. The low melting point also helps to extend the mold life which is another pivotal factor in zinc’s value as a molten metal.
Finally, zinc’s corrosion resistance levels are impressive, and it has heightened thermal conductivity. Thus, this material is durable, hard, and stable.
Magnesium is another metal that is commonly used in die casting. Magnesium is the easiest metal to machine, it offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, and it is the lightest alloy commonly die cast.
Magnesium alloys have a variety of unique characteristics like excellent fluidity, less susceptibility to hydrogen porosity, and better castability over other cast metals such as aluminum and copper. Magnesium also offers EMI and RFI shielding properties which makes it perfect for connectors and electrical housings.
Magnesium is used in a wide range of applications. Since it’s Aside from connectors and electrical housings, magnesium is also often used to produce medical and laboratory equipment because it provides protection against interfering signals.
Magnesium is also 75% lighter than steel with no significant loss of strength. This makes it a much better material for thin-walled, complex net shape castings. It also offers greater dimensional stability.
Magnesium castings can meet tight tolerances that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with steel.
Die casting dies, also known as molds or tooling, are critical components in the die casting process. These dies are typically made using several key steps and consist of various components. Here’s an overview of how die casting dies are made and their main components:
A large, solid block of the chosen die material is prepared, and it is typically milled, drilled, and machined to create the basic die shape.
The die is divided into two die halves or components: the die cavity and the core. The die cavity is the negative shape of the part to be cast, while the core is the positive shape. These components are precisely machined and are often made separately to allow for easy maintenance and replacement.
The ejector die system is designed to remove the cast part from the die once it has solidified. It typically includes ejector pins, ejector plates, and a mechanism to push the part out of the die.
The Federal Group utilizes both traditional and cutting-edge die casting processes to produce parts that are reliable, high strength, and accurate for use across a multitude of industries and components. We use both gravity casting and high pressure casting to manufacture parts based on product requirements.
Before a part can be formed the metal is melted in either of our two high-volume furnaces: Our 10,000 lb and 20,000 lb furnaces are precisely controlled to heat a given metal to ideal working temperatures.
Historically, gravity casting was the first form of casting and is still used today for heavier products or products that are to be made in medium to high volumes. It utilizes gravity to allow the molten metal to flow throughout the mold cavity.
This process is capable of creating thinner walls with a smoother surface than is possible with sand casting. Gravity casting is highly repeatable and steel pins and inserts can even be cast into a part.