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Die Casting Design Issues

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The casting engineers at St. Clair Die Casting had stringent quality, cost, and schedule targets for the heat sink block from the OEM manufacturer. 

The heat sink block is a challenge because it has a significantly heavier section thickness, which is atypical for die cast aluminum parts.  High production yield and long die life require careful design and engineering.

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The die casting engineers had three design imperatives

Performance, Castability, and Cost. 

Critical Design Issues -- The requirements for performance, manufacturability/castability, and cost are closely interconnected. Four design issues played a major role in meeting the three design imperatives for the heat sink block.

  • Choose a metal alloy that best meets the performance  and cost requirements.

  • Optimize the block design to reduce stress concentrations in the die and to increase tool life. 

  • Refine the die design to reduce production costs and optimize metal flow in the casting.

  • Select a tool steel alloy to give long tool life and keep tooling costs down.

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