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Konstruktion för X MMKN11

Design For
Manufacturing –
Die Casting

Andreas Lövberg
Cedric Delorme
Elisabeth Hansson
Charlotta Engstrand
Yasser Faraj
Chrissi Jarl

16/9/2013

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Contents
1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 2
2. Assembly methods .............................................................................................................................. 3
2.1 Self cutting/Forming fasteners ...................................................................................................... 3
2.2 Die cast external threads ............................................................................................................... 3
2.3 Interference fits ............................................................................................................................. 3
2.4 Threaded fasteners........................................................................................................................ 4
3. Determining the number of cavities ................................................................................................... 5
3.1 Determining the most economical number of cavities ................................................................. 5
3.1.1 The die casting processing costs, Cdc and Cdn .......................................................................... 5
3.1.2 Trimming and multi aperture trimming costs, Ctr and Ctn ........................................................ 7
3.1.3 Compilation and derivation ........................................................................................................ 7
3.1.4 Flow diagram for determining number of cavities ..................................................................... 8
4. Determinate the appropriate machine size. ..................................................................................... 10
4.1 Needed clamping force ............................................................................................................... 10
4.2 Required shot volume ................................................................................................................. 10
4.3 Dimensional Machine Constrains ................................................................................................ 11
4.4 Example to calculate the machine size ....................................................................................... 12
5. Cost estimation .................................................................................................................................. 14
5.1 Die set costs ................................................................................................................................. 14
5.2 Cavity and core costs ................................................................................................................... 14
5.3 Trim die costs .............................................................................................................................. 15
6. Design principles................................................................................................................................ 16
Bibliography ........................................................................................................................................... 17




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1. Introduction
Die Casting is a metal casting process. It is a manufacturing process for producing sharply, defined,
smooth or textured-surface metal parts. Molded metal is forced and injected under high pressure
into a mold cavity which then is held under pressure during solidification. In principle, the process is
very similar to the injection molding with another class of materials. Most die casting parts are made
of non-ferrous metals such as zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium and depending on the type of
metal that is being cast, a hot- or a cold-chamber is used.
The die casting process allows products to be made with high degree of accuracy and also produce
fine details such as textured surfaces or names without requiring further processing. The die casting
process is a suitable choice for mass produced products because of its ability of producing highly
detailed parts. Almost every product or a part of a product one uses in daily life is produced using
this process.

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2. Assembly methods

The most common way of making a die casted assembly is to die cast smaller parts individually and
then put them together to make a final assembly. Die castings can be assembled with not only
castings of the same material but also with ceramics, alloys, plastics and woods. A lot of methods
that are used to assemble metal parts, such as welding, studs or bolt and screw, can also be used to
assemble die castings. This report cannot possibly mention all the different assembly techniques but
a few common ones are described below . The following techniques are based on using “softer”
metals/alloys like aluminum, magnesium, zinc and ZA-alloys. (Dynacast, u.d.)
2.1 Self cutting/Forming fasteners
This principle is about using a harder material than the die cast itself to force a thread out of a cutting
process. The tool that is used is most commonly made of hard steel. Depending on the dimensions
and the strength where the thread should be one uses different sizes and force of the tool that cuts.
2.2 Die cast external threads
Sometimes, the part that is going to be assembled with another part of a screw has to be stronger in
that area to fulfill certain strength-requirements. Since the die casted part usually is made of a
weaker material, a nut made of a harder material can be used to put inside the die casted thread
area to make it stronger, see figure 1.

Figure 1. Die cast external threads.
2.3 Interference fits

Another technique that can be used to assembly two parts is to squeeze the
one in to the other. Interference fit is a technique that could be exerted both
at room temperature and by cooling/warming up the different part to
assemble. It all depends on the grade of interference. If the interference is
light (typically 0.001 mm/mm or less) the assembly can be performed at room
temperature. That type of interference could be achieved by a larger
force/pressure. For interference that is heavy, the parts need to be heated
respectively cooled to make the two parts fit together and then make a solid
part together after going back to room temperature again, see figure 2.
Figure 2. Interference
between shaft and hole.

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2.4 Threaded fasteners
Casting a part in which it is wished to have a thread inside there are some
things to think about to make it strong enough. It is always important to find a place where the part
is able to deal with the forces it will be exposed to. At the concerned location, if circumstances
permit it, a boss is created and threaded. Since the die cast it not as strong as the steel bolts or
screws it is important to construct the design so that the bolt fails rather than the
casting. A rule of thumb is to make the boss diameter twice as big as the bolt
diameter. See figure 3 for an illustration.
If two parts are to be assembled and the walls are thin it is not necessary to cast
a threaded boss inside the part. In those cases it is enough to pass a boss through
the hole and secure it with nuts.


Figure 3. Illustration of
bolt and boss.
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3. Determining the number of cavities

The number of cavities is restricted by several factors. These include clamping force, flow rate,
number of side-pulls and machine size. According to (Kumar, et al., 2012), the number of cavities
must be economically acceptable, technically permissible and geometrically feasible – while also
fulfilling given time constraints. In order to find the optimum number of cavities, we first find the
most economical number of cavities - which will then be subject to physical constraints in order to
ensure practical use.
3.1 Determining the most economical number of cavities
According to (Boothroyd, et al., 2002), the most economical number of cavities for die casting can be
calculated in the same way as for injection molding. In this method, an expression for the total cost is
set up

=

+

+

+

+

$
Where

=

=

=

=

=

=
3.1.1 The die casting processing costs, Cdc and Cdn

=

Where

=

=
=

= ℎ �
$

= ℎ , ℎ



6

Approximation of the hourly operating rate of a die casting machine, including operator rate:

=
1
+
1
∗ �
$



Where
= ℎ []

1
,
1
= ℎ

Figure 4. Chart over machine cost and machine clamp force.
Linear regression analysis of specifications for hot- and cold-chamber machines, see figure 4, yields

Hot-chamber:
1
= 55.4,
1
= 0.0036
Cold-chamber:
1
= 62.0,
1
= 0.0052
This shows a linear relationship between clamp force and machine costs for machines up to 15 MN.
Machines in the range of 15-30 MN are associated with greatly increased cost.
Cost of a multi cavity die casting die

, relative to the cost of a single cavity die
1
: (based on
data from Reinbacker)

=
1

[$]
Where
=
=
The exponent m is chosen in the same way as for injection molding, which suggests a value of 0.7 is
reasonable (this was tested for a wide range of molds). This exponent value suggests a 62% increase
in cost when doubling the number of cavities.
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3.1.2 Trimming and multi aperture trimming costs, Ctr and Ctn
The cost of trimming is expressed as

=


[$]
Where

= [
$

]

= [ℎ]
Trim rate is approximated by a constant value for trim presses of all sizes because the cost is
dominated by the wage of the operator, as small forces are required for the trimming process.
Trimming cycle time:

=
0
+ ∗

0
= − [ℎ]

= ℎ
Similar to that of multi cavity die cost, multi aperture trim die cost is expressed as

=
1

[$]
Where

1
= , [$]
=
It is assumed that the cost exponent for multi aperture trim tools is the same as that for multi cavity
die casting dies.
3.1.3 Compilation and derivation
Compiling the previous equations results in

=

(
1
+
1
)

+

1


0
+

+(

+

)

+

Assuming full die casting machine clamp force utilization:
= ⟷ =

Where
= ℎ , []
8

= , []
Inserted into the previous compilation gives

=


1

+
1

+

0

+

+(

+

) �

+

Optimization of the number of cavities for a die cast operation is arrived at by using the derivative of
the total cost for all the components, set to equal zero:

=


1

+

0

2
+

(−1)
(

+

)

= 0
This, with rearrangement, yields the optimum number of die cavities for any given die casting task

(+1)
=


1

+

0

(

+

)

3.1.4 Flow diagram for determining number of cavities
(Kumar, et al., 2012) have developed a flow diagram for determining the optimum number of cavities
using a CAD-file as input. Necessary information - such as area, wall thickness etc. – is extracted while
other information such as delivery date and material are taken interactively from the user. The die-
casting machine is selected from a machine database (which contains operating rates, clamping
force, geometry etc.) and the alloy-properties are taken from a material database (which contains
cost, temperatures, cooling factor, cavity pressure etc.). The flow diagram is shown in figure 5 below
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Figure 5. Flow diagram for determining the number of cavities for a multicavity die
Where

is the minimum of the machine parameters (clamping force, flow rate or machine size),

is delivery date (order must be fulfilled within time period, cycle times gives by Boothroyd),

is part manufacturing cost and

is part geometric features.

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4. Determinate the appropriate machine size.

When choosing the appropriate machine size with which to cast a particular die cast component,
there are several factors that must be considered. The most important factors are
1. the machine performance
2. the dimensional constrains imposed by the machine.
The most important machine performance capability is the machine clamping force and the
dimensional factors that must be considered are the available shot volume capacity, the die opening
stroke length and the platen area.
4.1 Needed clamping force
It is the machine clamping force F that the die casting machines are primarily specified on. The clamp
force F needs to be larger than the separating force f of the molten metal on the die during injection,
this to prevent separation of the die halves. Therefor the following requirement is needed F > f.
The separating force f for a given die casting task can be represented as:
=

10
(1)
where
= []

= ℎ []

= ℎ ℎ [
2
]
The total projected area can be calculated using the following equation:

=

+

+

3

where

=

=

=
The size of overflow wells is a matter of individual die marker judgment coupled with trial and error
modifications during die tryout. Studies state that projected area of cavities together with the
projected area of overflow wells appears to be 50%-100% of the projected area of cavities. The
following equation can therefor instead be used to approximately calculate the total projected area:

≈ 1.75

(2)
4.2 Required shot volume
The shot volume required for a particular casting cycle can be represented as:

=

+

+

3


11

where

= ℎ

=

=

=
The following relationships can be used to represent the volumes of overflow and feed systems:

=
0.8


1.25
cm
3

=



cm
3
where
ℎ = ℎ ℎ ℎ []
In the early-design assessment, the volume of total shot size can be reduced to:

=

�1 +
2

� (3)
4.3 Dimensional Machine Constrains
As said, for a part to be die cast on a particular machine it has to have sufficient clamp force and
enough shot volume. In addition to this, there are two more requirements that must be satisfied. A
first requirement is that the maximum die opening must be wide enough so that the part can be
extracted without interference. The size of the opening can be calculated with the following
equation:

= 2 +12 (4)
where
D=depth
The second requirement is that the area between the corner tie bars on the
clamp unit (platen area) must be sufficient to accommodate the required die.
The clearance between adjacent cavities or between cavities and plate edge
should be a minimum of 7.5 cm with an increase of 0.5 cm for each 100 cm
2
of
cavity area, see figure 6
= 7.5 +
0.5

100
(5)
where
=
Figure 6. Arrow showing the
length of "clearance".
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Reasonable estimates of the mandatory plate size are given by allowing 20% increase of part width
for overflow wells and 12.5 cm of additional plate width for the biscuit.
4.4 Example to calculate the machine size
A 20 cm long by 15 cm wide by 10 cm deep box-
shaped die casting is to be made from A360
aluminum alloy. The mean wall thickness of the
part is 5 mm and the part volume is 500 cm
3
.
See figure 7 for visualization of the
measurements.
Determine the appropriate machine size if a
two-cavity die is to be used.
The projected area of cavities is given by:
A
pc
= 2 × (20 × 15) = 600 cm
2
Therefor the estimated shot area is by equation (2):
A
pt
= 1.75 × 600 = 1050 cm
2
Given that the molten metal pressure in the die for A360 aluminum alloy is
p
m
= 48 MN/m
2
, the die separating force can be calculated from equation (1):
f = 48 × 1050/10 = 5040 kN
The shot size is given by equation (3):
V
s
= 2 × 500(1 + 2/5) = 1400 cm
3
The clamp stroke L
s
can be calculated with equation (4):
L
s
= 2 × 10 + 12 = 32 cm
The clearance between the cavities and with the plate edge can be calculated with equation (5):
Clearance = 7.5 + 0.5 x 600/(100 × 2) = 9.0 cm
The spacing between the adjacent cavities and around the edges may be arranged to 9 cm. An
additional 20% width is added to allow for the overflow wells, as well as 12.5 cm for the biscuit. This
results in a final plate size of 67 × 42.5 cm. Although, in table 1 you can see that the appropriate
machine would be the one with 6000 kN clamping force. This is because of that the separation force
is 5040 kN and the clamping force need to be larger. The appropriate machine can accommodate
plate sizes up to 100 × 120 cm.
Figure 7. The layout within the plate.
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Table 1. Cold-chamber Die Castings Machines.


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5. Cost estimation

When constructing a die cast one have to consider the tooling costs to create the die cast. Compared
to similar molding techniques they are slightly higher and this is due to higher thermal shocks that
the die casting is exposed to and that finer steel must be used for the die set. Also the overflow wells
and sprues take up more plate area compared to the one in for example injection molding. Thus
larger die sets will be needed. A trimming tool is also necessary to remove overflow wells, feed
system etc. causing the costs to increase even more.
5.1 Die set costs
Die sets and mold bases come in different types of steel and often it is recommended to use steel of
better quality when die casting compared to injection molding. For the same plate size and thickness
the cost is 25% more expensive than for the same mold base in injection molding. Therefore on can
use the equation to calculate the die set cost for injection molding and multiply it by 1.25 which leads
to:

= 1250 + 0.56

0.4
$
Where

= area of die set cavity plate,
2

= combined thickness of cavity and core plates in die set, cm.
5.2 Cavity and core costs
Usually the costs for customizing the die set (creating holes, fitting electrical and cooling systems
etc.) is double the purchase price. What determines the cost i.e. the manufacturing hours is the
amount of ejector pins needed and the relation between these and the projected part area has been
found to be:

=

0.5

Where

= number of ejector pins required

= projected part area,
2

It has been shown that an approximate value of manufacturing hours is 3.125 for each ejector pin
(25% more time consuming than for injection molding). Using the relation above and this factor it is
possible to estimate the total amount of manufacturing hours as

= 3.125 +1.25

0.5

Three different types of surface finish are usually used in die casting, minimum, medium and high
quality finish. The costs increase with lower tolerance i.e. better quality and the additional
percentage is 10% for minimum, 18% for medium and 27% for high quality.
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5.3 Trim die costs
The trim die cost depends on the complexity of the profile and is defined as

=

2

Where
P= outer perimeter of on cast part, cm
L, W = length and width of smallest rectangle that surrounds outer perimeter of one cast part, cm
Compared to blanking dies the cost is estimated to be 50% lower if no additional punches are
required. This leads to the equation for total manufacturing points.

0
= 15 + 0.125

0.75

The total estimated hours for a trim tool when using standard punches is

=

0
+2


Where

= 1 +0.04()
0.7
Using the average of the curves from figure 8 for area correction of blanking
dies

= tool manufacturing time, h


= number of holes to be trimmed

Figure 8. Area correction factor
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6. Design principles.

Accepted guidelines for die casting are listed below.
1. Die casting should be thin-walled structures. The wall should be uniform because it will
ensure smooth metal flow during filling and minimize distortion from cooling and shrinkage.
Zinc die casting should have a wall thickness between 1 to 1.5 mm. Aluminum or magnesium
should be 30 to 50% thicker than zinc and copper die casting are usually 2 to 3 mm thick.
With these thickness ranges the components will have a fine-grained structure with a
minimum amount of porosity and good mechanical properties. Thicker sections in a casting
will have an outer skin of fine metal, with a center section that has a rougher grain structure,
some amount of porosity and poorer mechanical properties. Therefore it is important to
know that mechanical strength does not increase in proportion to wall thickness.

2. Interior undercuts, see figure 9, should
be avoided in casting design because
moving interior core mechanics are
almost impossible to operate with die
casting. Those features must
constantly be produced by subsequent
machining. Nevertheless, the power of
die casting lies in its ability to produce
complex components and parts with good surface finish. Having made the decision to design
for die casting, however, bearing in mind that getting as much from the process as is
economically possible is important. This way, the structure of the assembly will be simplified.

3. If there are features projecting from the main wall of a die casting, they should not add
significantly to the bulk of the wall at the connection point otherwise as with the injection
molding, this would produce delayed cooling of the thickened section of the main wall.

4. Features projecting from the side walls should not lie behind one another when viewed from
the die opening direction. By not having the features behind one another die casting
depressions between the features will be avoided.


Figure 9. Explanation of undercuts.
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Bibliography
Boothroyd, G., Dewhurst, P. & Knight, W. A., 2002. Product Design for Manufacture and Assembly.
2nd red. u.o.:CRC Press.
Kumar, V., Madan, J. & Gupta, P., 2012. System for computer-aided cavity layout design for die-
casting dies. International Journal of Production Research.