why use zinc?
Zinc die casting offers numerous cost and production advantages and are used in industries ranging from complex medical and electronic applications to simple toys. Zinc is particularly economical for small parts, with a low melting point that promotes long die life.
Zinc alloy has a number of physical and mechanical advantages compared with other materials. These advantages include:
- High ductility
- Dimensional stability
- High impact strength
- High tensile strength
- Thin wall sections
- Close tolerances
- Temperature resistant
- Good electronic signal shielding
- Multiple surface finish options
Zinc die casting is also cost effective, providing precise parts in a minimum amount of time. Manufacturing advantages include:
- Casting multiple features in one process
- Reduced friction and abrasion on tool surfaces, lowering tool costs; (it is not unusual to cast more than a million parts from a single tool.
Compared with other production methods, zinc die casting has a range of advantages that make it the clear choice for small, high-volume, precision parts as the chart below shows.
In addition to its advantages compared with other casting processes, zinc has significant advantages over these production methods:
- Plastic injection molding – Zinc castings are much stronger than plastic while providing closer tolerances and much thinner part walls.
- Stamping and forging – Zinc casting produces more complicated shapes with better accuracies and allows different wall thickness. Die casting is also less labor intensive and more cost effective since multiple operations, such as casting holes, can be performed during casting.
- Machining – Zinc die casting produces shapes that are difficult to achieve with machining which, comparatively, requires many different set-ups and sophisticated tools for similar results.