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Die Casting: Zinc vs Aluminum

When die casting a product, there are a variety of materials that can be used to create high-quality products and reliable results. With that beeing said, there are two metals that tend to be used more often than others. Aluminum and zinc alloys are some of the most common materials used in die casting processes around the world. Which material you choose will depend on what you are looking to do with the end products.

The die casting process can seem alien and mysterious to many end users of die cast products. The reality is that there is actually very little mystery to die casting products and it is actually a straightforward process. Die casting is a process in which molten metal is pushed into a mold cavity created using two steel die pieces to create an end product. This type of casting is great for small to medium-sized products.

Zinc has a high strength and hardness level. This helps zinc alloy castings to lend themselves to a number of applications. When looking for an alternative to stamped, machined, fabricated, or pressed components, zinc alloy die casting is the most popular choice. Among the more desirable qualities of zinc alloy in die casting are the high strength and hardness, low cost of the raw material, full recyclability, and high-quality finishing characteristics.

Zinc has many qualities that make it excellent for electrical applications. Zinc housings can offer better electrical performance with greater shielding properties. Automotive and consumer electronic industries choose zinc components or its wear resistance and thin-wall capabilities. The most widely used zinc allow in North America is Zamak-3, though there are a number of other alloys available.

Aluminum castings are very popular for being very lightweight yet durable and hard. While not quite as strong as zinc alloys, aluminum is surprisingly strong while being very low in weight and able to withstand extremely high operating temperatures. Aluminum is especially desirable for its corrosion resistance, heat dissipating properties and excellent thermal conductivity.

While widely used in many industries, the automotive industry finds aluminum alloy especially attractive. The low weight helps vehicles obtain a higher fuel efficiency rating and provides strong and reliable parts and pieces.

Click here to find out more about these alloys and the die casting possibilities for them. Know your materials and choose the one that fits your job.

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