Die casting is one of the most mature manufacturing processes available. The most common materials die cast are alloys of aluminum, magnesium, and zinc. In recent years, significantly improved technology has enabled the die casting industry to remain very competitive in many market segments. The use of computerized product and process design tools, as well as significant new equipment technologies, have further enhanced the rapid cycle times and low cost of die castings.
One area of the die casting industry that is seeing rapid growth is the die casting of magnesium alloys. While many new applications for magnesium die castings in the auto industry are being realized by conversions from aluminum components and steel fabrications, the purpose of this white paper is to compare magnesium die castings to injection molded plastic components, which are also being converted to magnesium die castings in many applications. To read the complete White Paper on this topic please click here.
More Metal Competition: GM China Casts Magnesium Prototype Part
The General Motors (Detroit, MI) China Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai has announced that its micro-foundry and formability lab successfully completed the initial low-pressure casting of a magnesium part, a milestone in lightweight automotive materials research.
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Toyota Plans To Bring Hybrid Production To US, China
The Chicago Tribune (5/10, Kambayashi) reports, “Toyota Motor Corp plans to start making an annual total of 100,000 hybrid vehicles in the US and China, a news report said Wednesday.” According to the article, “high prices are undermining its sales in the two largest car markets, and the firm has decided to turn to local production, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing any sources.” Under the plan reported by Nikkei, “Toyota plans to begin building its popular Prius hybrid in the US, the world’s second-largest car market, around 2015 while gradually reducing imports from Japan.”
Semi-solid Die Casting using the Gas Induced Semi-Solid (GISS) Technique
Semi-solid metal forming has been reported to give several advantages compared with conventional die casting. Less gas porosity, reduced solidification shrinkage, heat treatability and reduction in cycle time are some of the advantages. Two major routes are used to form semi-solid metal: thixocasting and rheocasting. In thixocasting, grain-refined billets are reheated to the semi-solid range and formed into near-net-shape parts. In contrast, rheocasting involves preparing semi-solid metal from the melt using a technique. High feedstock materials cost and high capital investment of thixocasting make it desirable only in niche applications. Therefore, the rheocasting route has been favored by the industry in recent years.
Recently, a simple and efficient technique called the Gas Induced Semi-Solid (GISS) technique has been invented. It is being developed and commercialized by GISSCO Company Limited in Thailand. In this technique, the semi-solid slurry is produced by injecting fine inert gas bubbles through a graphite diffuser to agitate molten alloys during solidification. To read about Gas Induced Semi-Solid (GISS) process please click here to login and read this month’s issue of Die Casting Engineer.