Increase Production Capacity with Die Cast Aluminum Mold
What is a Die Cast Aluminum Mold?
Die Cast Aluminum Mold is also commonly known as Dies. These molds are used for the mass-production of aluminum parts. Mold making used to be a difficult task before. Thanks to the CNC Machining technology mold making is now faster and more efficient than ever.
Aluminum Die cast Mold requires a material that has higher strength and melting temperature than Aluminum. Otherwise, the die will be damaged during the casting process. Usually, steel molds are used for aluminum die casting.
High-quality steel is quite costly and hard to machine. So, the die tooling cost is relatively high. Even though the high tooling cost, aluminum die casting toolings provides the best economy and quality for large volume production.
Components of a Die Cast Aluminum Mold
A Die Cast Mold consists of multiple parts with each serving a specific purpose. The main components in a die casting mold are listed below.
- Cover Die
- Ejector Die
- Ejector Pin
- Cavity Insert
- Ejector Plate
- Support Plate etc.
These components are typically present in most die-cast molds. Although there may be custom molds with few extra components as well.
Types of Die Cast Mold
Die-cast molds or dies can be classified into different types based on the purpose they serve. They are,
- Production Dies
- Prototyping Dies
- Trim Dies
- Unit Dies
Production dies are used for large scale production. They are manufactured with high-quality, durable material to ensure longer die life. The initial tooling cost of production die is very high but the cost eventually drops with long term use.
These dies are mainly used for creating prototypes. The tooling process and functionality is the same as that of production dies. But the complex features are simplified and machined with less precision to minimize tooling cost.
After a casting cycle ends, the parts have casting residue such as sprue, runners, risers, flash, etc. Trim dies are used for cutting down excess material from a completed die-casting. It is also used for separating the parts from a casting pattern.
Unit dies are a cost-effective alternative to regular dies. It is mainly used for casting smaller parts. Unit dies consist of removable dies called die inserts. For new parts, instead of changing the whole die, just replacing the die insert is all that is needed.
Now dies can be further classified based on their cavity structure too. They are,
- Single Cavity Die
- Multiple Cavity Die
- Combination Die
Here, a single cavity die contains a cavity for a single casting only. While multiple cavities will have a pattern of the cavity for a part. A combination die on the other hand also has multiple cavities, but they are not a pattern and consist of cavities for different parts.
Advantages of Die Cast Aluminum Mold
Aluminum die cast mold has made the production of aluminum parts a lot easier. Some of the benefits of die casting molds are explained below.
- A single mold can produce thousands of parts
- Can produce parts with very tight tolerances
- Can withstand high temperatures
- Can withstand very high pressure
- Significantly reduces production cost for large volume production
- Can manufacture multiple aluminum parts at one go
- Increased rate of cooling and solidification allows faster production
For these multiple advantages, aluminum die-cast mold is being used for boosting the aluminum die casting production capacity.
Tooling Process of Die Cast Aluminum Mold
Die Cast Aluminum Mold done by CNC machining. CNC machined molds have very good precision and are faster than any manual mold-making techniques. The tooling process of die cast aluminum tooling is described below.
The 3d model for the Aluminum part is prepared using CAD software. Then the mold model is created according to the part’s dimensions. Some intricate features can’t be die cast, so such details are avoided during modeling.
Design for Manufacturing
The model is analyzed and adjusted to make it easy to cast. The actual model may be divided into segments, or some complex geometric features are simplified. The proper draft is provided for the design to make it easy to eject the casting.
The CNC machine can’t take direct input from a 3d model. The model needs to be converted into G-Code using CAM software. The CNC machines cut according to the code. M-Code for the process is needed as well which controls the operations executed by the machine.
Upon given input of both G-code and M-code, the CNC machine will start cutting the mold. The whole process is automated and has no chance of errors unless any programming errors were made. Depending on the parts geometry and precision requirement, the parts can be machined very fast, or it can take a really long time as well.
Important Design Considerations for Die Cast Aluminum Mold
Some guidelines should be followed when manufacturing a die casting aluminum mold. It can significantly reduce the time and difficulty of die construction. Here are some important tips for mold making.
- Replace the sharp edges with fillets
- The mold must have enough draft to enable easier casting ejection
- Avoid deep pockets and thin walls
- Minimize the number of undercuts and keep them aligned with the parting line
- Ensure enough runners, overflows, vents for improving casting quality
- Pay close attention to the orientation of the parts during mold design
Abiding by these design tips will make the die cast aluminum tooling more efficient and enhance the tooling life.