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ñ The quality of a die casting is more than
skin deep
ñ A quality casting is free of defects
ñ In order to determine the quality of a casting,
you must be able to identify the defects
ñ There are three common types of defects


ñ Vorrectly identify the common surface
ñ Vorrectly identify the common internal
ñ Vorrectly identify the common types of
dimensional defects

ñ Inclusions
‡ Materials that have been included in the alloy
that should not be there, such as aluminum
oxide, silicon carbide, fluxes and sludge
ñ Polymorphic
‡ The ability of, in certain environments, the
properties of the alumina crystals to change
ñ Porosity
‡ A void in the casting, caused by trapped gas or
ñ Viscous
‡ The state of being semi fluid; not flowing freely

Flow Defects
‡ Vold flow ‡ Poor fill
‡ Vold shut ‡ Laps
‡ Flow marks ‡ Flow lines
‡ Vold ‡ Swirls
‡ Vhill ‡ Knit lines
‡ Severe chill ‡ Mis run
‡ Non fill
Other Defects
‡ Blisters ‡ Soldering
‡ Vracks
ñ ^esult from how metal
flows to and within the die
ñ Adjusting process
variables can sometimes
impact their occurrence
‡ The alloy begins to freeze
before the casting is
completely filled out
‡ Several alloy flows converge
but do not weld or fuse completely together
| Factors Affecting Flow Defects

ñ Fill time ñ Flow distance

ñ Wall thickness ñ Gate velocity
ñ Die temperature ñ Alloy type
ñ Alloy temperature ñ Venting


ñ The maximum allowable time to fill the die
cavity that results in an acceptable casting
‡ If exceeded, the casting will have some defect
ñ Fill time calculation based on several factors
‡ Die temperature
‡ Alloy temperature
‡ Vasting geometry
‡ Alloy being cast

ñ Part of the casting¶s geometry
‡ Heavy wall sections equate to a lot of heat and
high cooling requirements
‡ Thin walls equate to very little heat and minimal
cooling requirements

ñ Time averaged temperature of the die during
sustained production
ñ Vannot be measured any time at any place in
the die
ñ Ideally, it will:
‡ Be as high as possible
‡ Still permit making the casting
‡ Vary as little as possible over the entire cycle
ñ Temperature of the alloy as it begins to fill
the die cavity, as it passes through the gate
ñ Hard to measure in real time as the casting is
being made
ñ Estimated to determine fill time calculations
ñ Avoiding delays in alloy transfer can
minimize temperature losses

ñ The distance that the metal must flow once it
passes through the gate
ñ Alloy should flow to its terminal location
without freezing
ñ If the flow distance is too long and if the alloy
speed is too slow, it¶s difficult for the metal to
fill the cavity without beginning to freeze


ñ The speed the alloy travels as it passes
through the gate
ñ If not controlled, can be detrimental to the
tooling causing washout and erosion
ñ If too low, the alloy may not atomize and not
have enough energy to reach the ends of the
casting or to properly weld together

ñ Van make difference in the surface finish
ñ Zinc, Zamak  was designed to have the best
fluidity and surface finish
ñ Silicon content in aluminum aids fluidity
ñ Alloys closer to the eutectic will be more fluid
ñ Eutectic alloys are regarded as harder to cast


ñ Trapped air causes blisters and gas porosity
and backpressure in the cavity
ñ Back pressure can change the flow enough
to cause surface defects
ñ Most noticeable in blind features
ñ May be necessary to add vacuum to remove

ñ Bubble like bumps
on the casting
ñ Gases trapped in the
casting near the casting
surface cause them
ñ When casting is ejected
and the casting surface
is not strong enough to withstand the gas pressure,
the surface yields and the blister forms
ñ Two major causes for cracks are:
‡ Heat
± Insufficient
± Excessive
‡ Externally applied stresses


ñ The fusion of aluminum in the
alloy with iron from the steel
surface of the die cavity
ñ When soldering occurs, the
casting sticks to the cavity;
casting must be torn away
ñ Aggravated by higher than usual
die temperatures, high gate velocities
and high metal pressures
ñ Enhanced if the iron content in alloy is low
ñ Van be caused by insufficient draft angles | |
ñ Mechanical properties include:
‡ Tensile strength, elongation, hardness, impact
strength and others
ñ Measured on samples; results are published
to help designers pick best suited material
ñ Internal defects reduce mechanical

ñ Pressure tightness
‡ An important property for some applications
‡ The process has to be controlled while making
solid, low porosity castings
‡ Internal defects can cause loss of pressure
ñ Machineability
‡ Affected by porosity and inclusion defects, the
two types of internal defects | 

ñ Most inclusions are
non metallic aluminum
oxide (corundum)
ñ Oxides get into the bath
ñ Most is removed, but
some remains and ends
up in castings
ñ Size and shape of the individual corundum particles
varies widely


ñ Inclusions of oxide films
and dross are major
cause for leakers and
excessive tool wear
ñ This is generally gamma
aluminum oxide
ñ Oxide films prevent divergent
alloy steams knitting together
properly as the cavity fills

ñ Silicon carbide
refractories get into
castings if furnace
cleaning practices
not maintained
ñ As damaging
as corundum
ñ Encountered infrequently compared to corundum
ñ Distinguished by its very black, glass like coloring

!½ "
ñ Not usually recognized during a cursory
visual inspection
ñ Vasting must be submerged in city water
ñ If flux inclusions are present, they will grow
crystals on the casting surface
ñ Appears as light mottling on all surfaces

ñ Vomposed of complex
inter metallic compounds
of Al Si Fe Mn Vr
ñ Is quite hard and will
damage cutter tooling
ñ Under high magnification
sludge is easily recognized by the extremely fine
primary crystals and their pentagonal shape


ñ A void in the casting
ñ Has two root causes:
‡ Trapped gas
‡ Shrinkage


To solve a gas porosity problem, look at all
sources of gas generation
ñ Trapped air
‡ Always present because of the turbulent method
used to fill the die cavity
ñ Air in cold chamber
‡ minimized by filling the cold chamber with alloy


ñ Turbulence: when alloy is subjected to
turbulence in the presence of air
‡ Minimize when picking up and transporting alloy
to the cold chamber through ladling practices
‡ Slow portion of the shot cycle must be controlled
± Optimize timing of plunger
± Accelerate plunger tip when past pour hole
± When sleeve is filled, follow with a smooth
acceleration to the fast shot speed
| |

ñ Improper venting: another cause for trapped
‡ Vents must be open to allow air trapped above
the alloy in cold chamber to escape
‡ If vent is working, a puff of air coming out can be


ñ Excessive lubricants: can result in gas from
two sources
‡ ^elease of combustion products when some of
the die lube burns when the alloy hits
‡ Most releases are diluted with water
‡ Water in lube will turn to steam and produce a
great volume of gas
‡ Gas forms when alloy runs over puddled plunger
tip lube | 

ñ Other sources of trapped gas
‡ If die cavity cracked, it might allow fluid from the
cooling line to leak into die cavity
‡ Water or oil in the cavity, when hit by the alloy,
will form gas



ñ Shrinkage: porosity that occurs if the alloy
solidifies without pressure on it
‡ All alloys shrink a certain percentage
ñ High pressure die casting
‡ Uses intensifiers/other methods to increase alloy
pressure once cavity has been filled with alloy
‡ Alloy pressure must be transmitted from the
biscuit through the runner to the gate


ñ Shrink defects:
occur at the last place
in the casting to freeze
‡ characterized by a rough
and jagged appearance
‡ tends to be continuous
by nature


ñ Dimensional variations covered:
‡ Linear variation, across parting line variation,
shift and mismatch, warpage
ñ Most dimensional defects related to:
‡ Die temperatures
‡ Vondition of the die
‡ Force of injection



ñ Thermal expansion/contraction: objects
lengthen when heated, get smaller when
‡ Vastings get smaller when cooled
‡ Dimensional problem can occur when one half of
die is much hotter than other half
‡ Van be a problem for the die and the casting




ñ Flash Buildup at parting line
‡ Prevents the die from closing properly
‡ May cause an oversize dimension
‡ Prevents wedgelock from holding slide in place
ñ Flash buildup at front of slide
‡ Prevents slide from going to ³ready to cast´




ñ Soldering
‡ Small core pins can be very susceptible; solder
buildup can cause an oversize out of tolerance
‡ May occur in walls; could cause an undersize or
thin wall



ñ Force of injection
‡ Overcomes locking capability, causing tie bars
stretch and allowing die to flash
‡ Flashing adds to size, cause slides to backout
‡ Normal injection force, impact, and intensification
‡ Van:
± ^educe the mass and speed
± Minimize impact
± Apply intensification before gates freeze
| |

ñ Statistical dimensional control
‡ Product gets larger or smaller over time
‡ Process variables that contribute to the
dimensional variation need to be identified
‡ A control technique, such as the average and
range chart, needs to be applied

ñ  categories of defects: surface, internal, and
dimensional, and many defects in each
ñ The operator may or may not have control
over them
ñ  subcategories of surface defects:
flow and other
ñ There are many types of flow defects
ñ  subcategories of internal defects:
inclusions and porosity
ñ Dimensional defects are related to die
temperatures, die condition, and the injection