This paper focuses on technologies that can enhance the life of die casting dies and is complimentary to the previously publish white paper entitled “Five Steps to Improving Die Performance”. In order to extend die life, it is important to know what is limiting the life of dies so the appropriate technology can be utilized. For years the reasons for retiring a die from service have remained the same. The top reason for dies being retired from service prematurely is thermal fatigue cracking and this has not changed over the years. After thermal fatigue, the primary reasons for retiring a die are: gross cracking, wear and erosion (washout), cavitation, and chemical attack. What has changed over the years is a great reduction in, and near elimination of, the instances of gross cracking. This is primarily due to the increase in the minimum acceptable impact strength (toughness) of the die steel and several new die steels that have the capability of yielding impact strength levels well beyond the minimum requirements of the NADCA Special Quality Steel and Heat Treatment Acceptance Criteria for Die Casting Dies document.

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