What is Aluminum Die Casting?

Aluminum die casting is a process in which molten aluminum alloy is injected into a high-pressure mold and rapidly cooled into shape. Aluminum die casting can produce parts of various complex shapes and sizes with high strength, light weight, corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity.

aluminum die casting

The Most Common Aluminum Die Casting Alloys

The most common aluminum die casting alloys are ADC12, A380, A383, A360, etc. All of these alloys contain silicon, copper, magnesium and zinc to improve the flowability, heat resistance and mechanical properties of aluminum.

Aluminum raw material

History of Aluminum Die Casting

The history of aluminum die casting can be traced back to the end of the 19th century, when the first die casting machine was invented in the United States to produce parts for printing presses.

With the development of the automobile industry, aluminum die casting was also widely used, especially during World War II, many aircraft and military vehicles used aluminum die casting parts to save weight and material.

Nowadays, aluminum die casting has become one of the largest metal processing industries in the world, producing more than 10 billion pieces per year.

Aluminum Die Casting Process Steps

The aluminum die casting process is divided into five main steps, including alloy melting, mold injection, die casting, mold unloading and surface treatment.

1. The alloy melting, which melts the raw aluminum alloy into liquid alloy.

2-3.Injection mold and die-casting, in which the liquid alloy is injected into the mold, and after a certain period of time, the aluminum alloy is die-cast into the desired shape under the action of high pressure.

4.Demoulding, where the part is removed from the mold.

5.The surface treatment, through grinding, polishing, burnishing and other processes, the surface of the parts to get a finish.

Aluminum die casting workers are working

Factors to Consider in Aluminum Die Casting Mold Design

The goal of aluminum die casting mold design is to make the parts can be produced at the lowest cost and highest quality, so there are many factors to consider, such as the shape, size, wall thickness, tolerance, surface quality, mechanical properties, processing technology and so on.

In addition, the mold material, structure, temperature control, parting surface, gate system, exhaust system, cooling system, etc. must be considered, but this article will not go into details here(If you are interested, you can click the link above to view the details), only the following examples will be given for illustration:

The size and shape of the product must be considered

The design of aluminum die casting mold should be based on the size and shape of the product, and only on this basis can we ensure the stability of product quality and precision. On this basis, the structure and size of the aluminum die casting mold must also take into account the ergonomic needs of the operating workers to ensure that the operation process of the aluminum die casting machine is more convenient and efficient.

The material of the product must be considered

The design of the aluminum die casting mold must fully consider the nature and characteristics of the aluminum alloy material, as well as the intersection, gate, cooling and other issues. In terms of structure, to ensure the strength, corrosion resistance and durability of aluminum die casting products, designers must also consider the use of high-quality mold steel, so as to avoid wear and deformation of the body as much as possible.

The processing technology of aluminum die casting molds must be considered

The processing technology of aluminum die casting mold is also one of the key factors in its application in aluminum die casting technology. In the design process of aluminum die casting mold, the adopted process and material adaptability should be fully considered to achieve reasonable structure, high processing accuracy, long service life and other characteristics.

In general, the design of aluminum die casting mold must be comprehensively considered from the aspects of product size and shape, material and material, processing technology and so on. Only in this way can the quality and effectiveness of the application of aluminum die casting technology be better ensured. With the rapid development of science and technology, aluminum die casting technology and its molds will also be constantly updated and developed, bringing more flexible and efficient options for developing and manufacturing aluminum alloy products.

Aluminum Die Casting Thickness and Hardness

The wall thickness and hardness of aluminum die castings are important factors that affect their performance and quality.

In general, the smaller the wall thickness, the higher the hardness, but also the higher the probability of defects such as deformation and cracking. Therefore, the appropriate wall thickness and hardness range should be determined according to the function and requirements of the part during design. Usually, the wall thickness is between 1-5 mm and the hardness is between 60-120 HB.

Aluminum Alloy Die Casting products

Advantages and Disadvantages of Aluminum Die Casting

Aluminum die casting has many advantages

– A variety of complex shapes and sizes of parts can be produced, increasing design freedom and flexibility.

– One-piece molding can be achieved, reducing the time and cost of subsequent machining and assembly.

– Material utilization and production efficiency can be improved, saving energy and resources.

– It can improve the strength, light weight, corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity of parts, meeting the needs of various industrial fields.

Aluminum die casting also has some disadvantages

– Requires high mold manufacturing and maintenance costs, which limits the economics of small production runs.

– Requires a high-temperature and high-pressure working environment, which increases the safety risk to equipment and personnel.

– Prone to defects such as porosity, shrinkage, slagging and die sticking, which affect the surface quality and internal structure of the part.

Aluminum Die Casting Applications

Aluminum die casting is widely used in the automotive industry. Because it can produce parts with good material and mechanical properties, it enables automobiles to reduce weight, improve fuel economy and reduce pollution.

Aluminum die casting has also been widely used in the fields of aviation, marine, electronics, communications, medical and home appliances. Common aluminum die casting parts are engine cover, transmission case, wheel hub, radiator, printed circuit board, mobile phone case, etc.

It is expected that with the continuous development and improvement of technology, the application of aluminum die casting process will be further expanded and promoted in more fields.

Alternatives to Aluminum Die Casting

With the progress of technology and market changes, aluminum die casting also faces competition from some alternatives, such as plastic injection molding, steel sheet stamping, carbon fiber composite materials, etc. All these alternatives have their own advantages and disadvantages, and have different applicability in different occasions and conditions. Therefore, the selection of materials and processes should be based on a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the actual situation.


Aluminum die castings have the characteristics of high strength, light weight, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity. It has a history of more than 100 years.

Aluminum die casting is now one of the largest metalworking industries in the world and is very important in many fields. In terms of application, with the continuous development and improvement of technology, the application of aluminum die-casting technology in more fields will be further expanded and promoted.

This article was first published on May 29, 2023

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