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MTSM 2014 Split, 24.-25.09.


ISSN 1847-7917

Wear mechanisms of mold for high pressure die casting in

Review paper
, Abstract: minum alloy automotive
1) 1)
, parts using high pressure die casting process. During this process, under
1) Fakultet elektrotehnike, strojarstva i certain loads, mold wear appears. The tool has to be repaired or replaced
which implies significant expenses.
(Faculty of Electrical Engineering, This Computer optimization of
Mechanical Engineering and Naval parameters of metal Goal of the article is to
Architecture, University of Split) analyze and define the mold wear in relation with: mold material, casting
alloy and casting parameters LTH Metal C
Republic of Croatia Using this information, it is possible to simulate the process of high pressure die casting and obtain enough data to reduce the wear of the mold.

High pressure die casting mold aluminija proces og lijevanja. Prilikom ovog procesa, pod
Wear mechanisms
Casting parameters
termalnih pr
kalupa u odnosu na:
Kalup za v
ti dovoljno
Parametri lijevanja podataka kako bi se smanjilo .

1. Introduction
High pressure die casting is mostly used for non-iron Table 1. Comparison of casting methods [1]
casting alloys such as alloys: with zinc, copper, Low High
aluminum, magnesium, led and tin. It is appropriate for Sand
pressure pressure die
mass produced casts with large dimensions and narrow die casting casting
cross sections. Casts produced using this process require Cast weight,
0.01 ... 30
very little subsequent machining [1]. kg
Crucial part of high pressure die casting equipment is Mold price Low Moderate High
the mold. It is very expensive, considering the cast
prices with other casting technologies, as shown in table Minimal wall
4 ... 6 3 ... 4 0.8 ... 1.5
1. The prices of molds thickness, mm
Every mold has a Dimension
Good Very Good Excellent
certain life span, usually around 100.000 to 120.000 accuracy
casting cycles. After that cycle period it is not possible Surface
to achieve the required dimensions of the cast. The tool roughness Ra, >6.3-12.3
has to be repaired or changed with a new one.
Premature excessive wear significantly increases the AISi9Cu3Fe
cost of production [2]. AISi10Mg
AISi12 AISi12
Casting alloys AISi10Mg AISi10Mg
AlSi7Mg AlSi11Cu2

2. Die casting process
Because of the high melting point of aluminum (about Mold production from this material includes the
n the manufacturing plant following steps[3]:
cold chamber die casting is used. For materials with - incoming material inspection;
lower melting point (Pb, Sn, Zn) hot chamber die - rough machining;
casting is used. Cold chamber die casting implies - heat treatment for removal of residual stresses
introducing the molten metal for casting to the shot (high temperature annealing at 600 );
chamber from an external source. This is the reason way - hardening to achieve hardness of 50 to 55 HRc;
the die casting machinery is able to stay cool [3]. - annealing to 43 HRc;
Casting alloy chemical composition is verified by - machining to final dimensions;
spectral analysis. The alloy is mixed with the recycled - inspecting the dimensions;
scrap material at a certain ratio. Molten metal is - carbonitration - Tenifer procedure (for surface
obtained at a separate furnace from aluminum alloy hardness and resistance to wear and corrosion).
ingots Al 226, Al 231 and Al 239 [2].
The temperature of molten metal is 690 Molds Trade mark of this steel is
are preheated to 170 Hydraulic powered piston specifically made for severe operating conditions of
forces the molten metal into the mold under pressure of tools and molds. It is suitable for quenching by air. It is
300 to 1000 bar depending on the material and the also mostly used for casting light metal alloys [4].
required casting quality. Speed of molten aluminum at Physical properties of steel X38CrMoV51 are shown in
the entrance of mold is in the range of 30 to 50 m/s, table 3.
depending on the pressure and density of the casting
alloy. It takes 0.01 to 0.2 seconds to fill the mold, Table 3. The physical properties of steel X38CrMoV51 at
certain temperatures [4]
depending on the molten metal mass, mold entrance
size, pressure and metal density. [3] Temperature
When the molten metal solidifies, the mold is opened Density, [kg/dm3] 7.80 7.64 7.60
and the cast is pushed out. The mold surface is Specific heat,
lubricated after every casting cycle with a solution of [J/kgK] 460 550 590
molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) at room temperature. Modulus of 215 x 103 176 x 103 165 x 103
Force needed to keep the mold closed during the elasticity, [MPa]
injection and solidification of the molten metal is in the
range from 3.400 to 12.000 kN. [2]
4. Mechanisms of wear
Mold is heated by the molten metal and cooled by heat
3. Mold material conduction into the bulk of the mold and also by
Mold material has to have stability of properties at irradiation and convection when the mold is open.
elevated temperatures, which significantly narrows the Before every cycle, the surface is sprayed with
range of possible material selection. High strength and molybdenum disulfide which causes additional heat
toughness is needed at temperatures of about 690 loss. Sudden temperature changes cause thermal
The mold surfaces that shape the product and are in fatigue of the mold material surface layer. Thermal
direct contact with the molten metal are made from steel fatigue is the dominant mold failure mechanism in die
EN X38CrMoV51, which has: a high resistance to casting [6].
annealing, wear, dynamic loads, thermal fatigue and Expansion and contraction of the material in the mold
corrosion [4]. Maximum percentage of phosphorus and surface layer represents a dynamic load cycle. A certain
sulfur is 0.03%. Chemical composition of steel amount of cycles results in fatigue of the material.
X38CrMoV51 is shown in table 2. Cracks caused by thermal fatigue are usually smaller
and are cross linked at the surface. Propagation of
Table 2. Steel X38CrMoV51 chemical composition [5] cracks causes particle separation. Oxidation can
contribute significantly to propagation of cracks caused
C, % Si, % Mn, % Cr, % Mo, % V, % by thermal fatigue [6]. Figure 1 shows a mold with
significant wear due to thermal fatigue on the left side
0.36- 0.9- 4.9- 0.24- and a cast made with the same mold on the right side.
0.3-0.5 1.1-1.4
0.42 1.2 5.8 0.5

MTSM 2014 Split, 24.-25.09.2014

Disadvantage of these alloys is poor weld ability. It is

not recommended for anodizing for decorative
purposes. Mechanical properties of the casting alloy are
improved by adding manganese and nickel [9].
Chemical composition and properties of the casting
alloy are shown in tables 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Table 4. Casting alloy chemical composition [10]

Figure 1. Mold damaged by thermal fatigue and cast made

with the same mold [7]

Table 5. Casting properties [10]

Erosion is induced by molten metal high kinetic energy
at the entrance and also enhanced by the presence of Solidification Casting temperature, Shrinkage, %
solid particles in the molten metal (Al2O3). Damage can range,
be seen on the spot where the molten metal comes in 580-530 650-700 0.5-0.8
contact with the mold for the first time. [6]
Table 6. Mechanical properties [10]
Tensile Proof Elongation Brinell
strenght, stress, Rp0,2, A50, % Hardness, HB
Rm, Mpa Mpa (min.) (min.)
240 140 1 70

Table 7. Other mechanical and physical properties [10]

Linear thermal Thermal
Density, expansion, (293- conductivity,
kg/dm3 373 K), K-1 W/mK
Figure 2. Mold erosion wear [8] 2.65 20x10-6 120-150

Damage is also caused by corrosion originating from 6. Controlling parameters

the dissolution of the mold material in the molten metal The thermally induced stresses cause accumulation of
and emerging intermetallic compounds [6]. compressive plastic strains in the surface layer during
Local adherence between the mold surface and molten the heating phase of the first cycle. The plastic yield of
metal during filling and the solidification process causes the mold material during the heating phase is, in turn,
remains of molten metal on the mold surface. The the perquisite for development of tensile stresses in the
intensity of wear can be decreased by achieving lower mold surface layer during the cooling phase. The
friction between mold surface and molten metal, by presence of stress raising defects may cause that tensile
increasing mold hardness and by achieving a lower stresses exceed the mold steel yield stress. The gradual
chemical reactivity between the mold and the molten softening of the mold steel, which occurs during the
metal [6, 9]. thermal cycling, degrades the initial yield strength
Mentioned mechanisms of wear can increase the values of the steel. Thus, the surface material locally
production costs significantly by additional expenses of will be exposed to cyclic stresses that cause
maintenance, faulty products and expensive mold accumulation of plastic strains after a certain number of
repairs. thermal cycles [6]. If the mold preheating temperature is
higher, the difference between mold preheating
5. Casting alloy temperature and the molten metal temperature is lower
Material used for casting is an alloy of aluminum and and the amplitude of the load cycle is lower. Therefore,
silicon AlSi12Cu1 (Fe). This is a eutectic alloy with wear can be mitigated by optimal adjustment of the
excellent casting properties and resistance to thermal mold preheating temperature. According to this, one of
fatigue. Silicon allows low viscosity in the molten state. the most important parameters is the mold preheating
This alloy was made for production of casts with temperature.
complex shapes and narrow cross sections. It is suitable As it was mentioned before, erosion wear occurs during
for machining [10]. the mold filling process with molten metal due to high
relative speed of molten metal. It is to be expected that

the wear would decrease with the decrease of molten
metal speed. Wear can be reduced by lowering the zg/multistatic/52/9.%20Alati%20za%20izvorno%2
pressure of the hydraulic cylinder or by a different mold 0oblikovanje-kalupi.pdf , april 2014.
design. [4] http://www.bohler-
Mold material is also an important parameter. Casting , april
process takes place at high temperatures and most of 2014.
wear occurs due to material fatigue. Thermal crack [5] http://www.steel-
evaluations revealed that the crack length and crack
density decreases with higher initial tool steel hardness alloy/x38crmov5-1.html , august 2014.
[6]. Also, with high strength and hardness, high
toughness is necessary to withstand as many cycles of
ACTA Universitatis Upsaliensis, Uppsala 2003.
load as possible and to extend the mold lifetime.
ISBN 91-554-5659-6
7. Conclusion a kalupima za visoko
Taking into consideration the high cost of mold,
investigating the cause of wear is justified. According to
the data in this paper, the most influential parameters studije, Split 2013.
are mold preheating temperature, speed of molten metal
and mold material. Research data show that parameters
suggests wear can be moderated. According to various
sources wear can be decreased by increasing the mold
preheating temperature from the minimum of 180 to 350
20959e0dfab , april 2014.
([3],[11],[12]). preheating
temperatures of around 170 . [9] -casting of
To most effectively reduce wear it is necessary to try
out different combinations of parameters and analyze Ljubljana 2007. ISSN 0543-5846
the long term effects. It is inconvenient to do this in the [10] -
manufacturing plant because it would imply loss of time
and money. To avoid this, a device that simulates real 52-121E-41AD-8DA4-
conditions of high pressure die casting has to be AB040E6F48BE/0/engENAB47100.pdf , june
designed. The device has to be able vary the mold 2014.
preheating temperature, relative speed of molten metal [11]
and different mold materials.
REFERENCES center/downloads/pdf/UddeholmDiecastingovervie
w.pdf , june 2014.
[1] Alteams Tech Cent , [12]
characterization of aluminium alloys for high
temperature applications Part1: Al-Si-
casting.html , april 2014.
Metallurgical Science and Technology, Vol. 29-1
[2] Ed. 2011.

[3] ,