At a high level, casting is a manufacturing process in which a liquid material — usually a metal — is poured into a mold that contains a hollow cavity in the shape of the desired product or component. From there, the material is left to solidify.
The majority of casting processes used by manufacturers are referred to as permanent molding or nonexpendable mold casting. In this type of casting, the mold does not need to be reformed after each production cycle.
Commonly used casting methods include the following:
Squeeze casting is a single-step process that combines the casting and forging processes. The molten alloy is poured into the mold and solidified under pressure.
High-pressure die casting is a single-step process in which the molten alloy is forced, under pressure, into a mold cavity.
Although there are similarities between the two processes, the main difference comes down to velocity. In this blog post, learn more about the significance of velocity as well as the differences, advantages and disadvantages of both processes.
What is Squeeze Casting
Squeeze casting is a modification of traditional die casting that combines the casting and forging processes. Between the plates of a hydraulic press, the molten alloy is solidified under high pressure, resulting in a pore-free component or product.
One of the biggest advantages to squeeze casting is the number of metals — both ferrous and nonferrous — that can be used in the process, although magnesium, copper and aluminum are the most commonly used.
Traditional squeeze casting is divided into two types.
Direct Squeeze Casting
Direct squeeze casting is similar to the forging process. In this method, molten metal is poured into the bottom half of the mold. The upper half is closed, causing the entire mold to fill with the molten metal. With pressure applied over the whole cavity, the solidification process begins. This process provides better heat transfer to produce stable components.
Indirect Squeeze Casting
Indirect squeeze casting is similar to high-pressure die casting. In this method, the molten metal is injected into an indirect squeeze-casting machine through a vertical or horizontal shot sleeve. From there, the liquid metal is injected into the die chamber through a thicker gate and a lower velocity than the velocity used in high-pressure die casting.
The Advantages of Using Squeeze Casting
Squeeze casting is a relatively new form of casting, and it offers some great advantages, including the following:
The combination of forging and casting produces metal-based components and products with better finishing and mechanical properties.
There is less shrinkage due to the high pressure and the tight seal that keeps molten metal from evaporating.
It’s an economical process because most of the raw material that is used or scraped can be reused. For larger production projects, automated machines can perform squeeze casting.
Higher density levels give a longer life span to the components. During the cooling part of the process, the grains of the metal become stronger and denser.
There is low porosity or an absence of air bubbles in the cavity, which creates a strong component and a good surface texture.
Ferrous and nonferrous casting can be performed through squeeze die casting, unlike many casting processes. Because of this, many casting companies consider it an innovative technique.
Energy conservation results from mass production that can be operated by software programs.
These advantages benefit companies in the industrial, technology and automobile industries. Squeeze casting is particularly useful for automobile components because of the combination of high density — keeping it durable and long-lasting — and light weight, which is better for the overall cost of the automobile to the manufacturer and consumer.
What Is High-Pressure Die Casting?
High-pressure die casting is the process of injecting molten metal between two mold castings under high pressure. This process creates dependable, quality, complex metal parts that can be produced at a high volume.
This process is suitable for zinc, aluminum and magnesium alloys, each of which has benefits over the others, such as a high resistance to stress and a lighter weight.
The Advantages of High-Pressure Die Casting
Although the two casting processes have their own specific benefits, they also overlap in several ways. Here are the advantages of high-pressure die casting:
Excellent dimensional accuracy from the complexity of the mold.
Thinner walls, compared to other casting methods, which help produce lighter-weight components.
Smooth surface finishes and reduced secondary machining requirements that provide fast lead times.
Long mold life — 100,000 shots or more, making it an excellent process for the mass production of components.
The die-casting process is commonly used to produce lightweight parts for automotives, power vehicles, appliances, motorcycles, plumbing fixtures and more.
All Casting Needs Met With VPIC Group
As you can see, each casting process has its unique benefits that are suitable for specific components and products. When you work with VPIC Group, you partner with an OEM supplier with nearly 30 years of experience in a number of casting processes. We are committed to high quality and fast lead times, and to accommodating our clients’ projects, no matter how specific they are.
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