While aluminum holds most of the die casting market, zinc alloys have several important use cases. To find out more, let's examine the properties of each of these ferrous metals.
- High Melting Temperature
- Dimensional Stability
- Light Weight
- Corrosion Resistance
These properties play a significant role in the uses for aluminum die casting. Since aluminum is one of the top recycled materials on the market, almost 75% of all U.S. produced aluminum is still in use today. The availability of this resource contributes to its prominence in the die casting market. One reason aluminum is so heavily recycled is its resistance to corrosion, which allows more people and industries alike to save their old aluminum scraps instead of throwing them away. Another property that adds appeal to aluminum is its lightness. What happens when the object you are charged with building must be made from metal, but also must be incredibly lightweight? What about if you need this object to also retain heat whilst maintaining structural integrity? Aluminum is the go-to ferrous metal for the auto industry for this exact reason. In any engine, you have a constant series of small explosions that must be contained by a relatively small amount of metal, while remaining both light enough that the power produced by the engine propels the car without too much fuel waste and still maintaining the shape necessary to operate. Car companies are tirelessly trying to reduce weight, cost, and gas mileage, and aluminum die casting manufacturers provide these parts.
- Low Melting Temperature
- High Conductivity
Zinc die casting is typically used not in competition with aluminum, but in different situations in which it makes sense. It's conductivity, for example, coupled with its low price point and ease of use lends itself to smaller parts for electronics. The smoothness of Zinc is what allows for easy gold or chrome plating, and the low melting point allows for the metal's smooth finish. Its weight -- twice that of aluminum -- brings even more strength to smaller objects. That's why zinc is typically used in smaller die cast builds, with the added bonus of low costs.
There are many more use cases for both zinc and aluminum die casting, but the best way to understand what those might be is by first knowing the properties of both. A zinc and aluminum die casting supplier near you will be able to help you with many projects, so make sure you can do your part and understand the properties of both zinc and aluminum for die casting.