Unlike permanent mold or gravity die casting, molten metal is forced into metallic mold or die under pressure in pressure die casting. The pressure is generally created by compressed air or hydraulically means. The pressure varies from 70 to 5000 kg/cm2 and is maintained while the casting solidifies. The application of high pressure is associated with the high velocity with which the liquid metal is injected into the die to provide a unique capacity for the production of intricate components at a relatively low cost. This process is called simply die casting in USA. The die casting machine should be properly designed to hold and operate a die under pressure smoothly. There are two general types of molten metal ejection mechanisms adopted in die casting set ups which are:
(i) Hot chamber type
(a) Gooseneck or air injection management
(b) Submerged plunger management
(ii) Cold chamber type
Die casting is widely used for mass production and is most suitable for non-ferrous metals and alloys of low fusion temperature. The casting process is economic and rapid. The surface achieved in casting is so smooth that it does not require any finishing operation. The material is dense and homogeneous and has no possibility of sand inclusions or other cast impurities. Uniform thickness on castings can also be maintained.
The principal base metals most commonly employed in the casting are zinc, aluminum, and copper, magnesium, lead and tin. Depending upon the melting point temperature of alloys and their suitability for the die casting, they are classified as high melting point (above 540°C) and low melting point (below 500°C) alloys. Under low category involves zinc, tin and lead base alloys. Under high temperature category aluminum and copper base alloys are involved.
There are four main types of die-casting machine which are given as under.
- Hot chamber die casting machine
- Cold chamber die casting machine.
- Air blown or goose neck type machine
- Vacuum die-casting machine