Die-casting is a manufacturing process utilized for casting metal products, which involves the forced introduction of molten metal into the mold cavities, at very high pressures. It is the most appropriate process for the fast production of bulk metallic parts that needs minimum post-production machining. There are two main types of die casting process: Hot-chamber and Cold-chamber.
Die cast tooling refers to the molds and dies that are used in the process. Die cast tooling is also referred to as die cast dies, insert dies, or die cast moldings, and they are available in single cavities or multiple cavities. Single cavity tooling can be used to make only one part at a time, whereas the multiple cavity tooling can be used to make more than one part per cycle.
The tooling costs can vary with the types of tooling. It can cost as little as a few hundred dollars when trim dies are used, but can go to a few thousand dollars when cavity inserts are used. However, for large and complete die cast tool packages, the costs can go up to a few thousand dollars.
Many of the Mexican die casters use only cold chamber die cast machine molds or tooling to manufacture aluminum die cast parts. The different types of die cast tooling used by die casters in Mexico are discussed below.
Die Casting Tooling Inserts
Tooling inserts are cheapest form of die cast tooling. These high-pressure tooling inserts are made from steel to offer cavities and little extra space to accommodate the differences in temperature of the molten metal that is injected into the die under pressure. This type of tooling inserts need heat treatment to ensure proper hardness and tooling life.
Prototype Die Casting Tooling Inserts
This type of tooling is same as the normal die cast tooling inserts, except for the low-grade steel used in its manufacture and the absence of heat treatment. This tooling is not heat-treated, are made from low-grade steel, and can be used to manufacture thousands of parts depending on the weight and size of the parts.
Die Casting Unit Die Tooling
This type of tooling is usually larger than the die cast tooling inserts and will be smaller than the complete mold. This type of tooling uses more steel than a die casting insert and more steel than a complete mold. This type of tooling needs a master unit holder that is placed inside the die cast machine.
Mold tooling or complete die cast tooling is an easy way to manufacture more than 100,000 parts from the life of the tool or the mold. This type of tooling can be fit directly into the casting machine without any die insert holder, mold base, or a master molder. It will take more time to set mold tooling into a casting machine than unit die tooling, but is capable of offering better quality parts and improved die life.