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1)

Relative Characteristics of Die Casting Alloys


Aluminu
m

Brass

Magnesiu
m

Zinc

Dimension
al stability

Good

Excelle
nt

Excellent

Good

Corrosion
resistance

Good

Excelle
nt

Fair

Fair

Casting
ease

Good

Fair

Good

Excelle
nt

Part
complexity

Good

Fair

Good

Excelle
nt

Dimension
al accuracy

Good

Fair

Excellent

Excelle
nt

Die cost

Medium

High

Medium

Low

Machining
cost

Low

Medium Low

Low

Finishing
cost

Medium

Low

Low

High

2) The unique properties of zinc


include:

High-Quality
Casting
Capabilities: Zinc can
achieve tighter tolerances
than molded plastics or
cast aluminum.
Zinc
offers
a
thin
wall
castability and the ability
to cast to print with little
to no draft.

Superior
Mechanical
Properties: Zinc features
excellent bearing and
tensile strength, as well as
rigidity.

Exceptional Physical Properties: Zinc conducts electricity while dissipating heat.

Multiple Finishing Options: Zinc is suitable for a variety of finishing options for
cosmetic and anti-corrosion purposes, including: electroplating, overmolding, powder
coating, chrome plating, PVD (physical vapor deposition) and CVD (chemical vapor
deposition).

Environmentally Sustainable: All zinc materials are non-toxic and can be recycled.

3) Lead and Tin Alloys


Lead and tin alloys enjoy only minor use in die casting since their strengths are low. Lead die castings
find applications where high density (wheel weights) or corrosion resistance (plumbing goods) is needed.
Tin may be found in small parts where extremely close dimensional tolerances are needed, or where
contact with food or certain chemicals may be encountered.

4) Alloys Description
Alloy

Zamak 3

Zamak 5

Zamak 7

Zamak 2

Description
No. 3 alloy is usually the first choice when considering zinc die casting.
Its excellent balance of desirable physical and mechanical properties,
superb castability and long-term dimensional stability are the reasons
why over 70% of all North American zinc die castings are in No. 3
alloy. It is, therefore, the most widely available alloy from die casting
sources. ZAMAK No. 3 also offers excellent finishing characteristics
for plating, painting and chromate treatments. It is the "standard" by
which other zinc alloys are rated in terms of die casting.
No. 5 alloy castings are marginally stronger and harder than No. 3.
However, these improvements are tempered with a reduction in ductility
which can affect formability during secondary bending, riveting,
swaging or crimping operations. No. 5 contains an addition of 1%
copper which accounts for these property changes. The alloy is widely
die cast in Europe and does exhibit excellent castability characteristics,
as well as, improved creep performance over No. 3. Because of No. 3's
wide availability, material specifiers often strengthen components by
design modifications instead of using No. 5. However, when an extra
measure of tensile performance is needed, No. 5 alloy castings are
recommended. The alloy is readily plated, finished and machined,
comparable to No. 3 alloy.
No. 7 alloy is a modification of #3 alloy in which lower magnesium
content is specified in order to increase the fluidity. To avoid problems
with inter-granular corrosion lower levels of impurities are called for
and a small quantity of nickel is specified. Alloy #7 has slightly better
ductility than #3 with other properties remaining at the same level. The
alloy is therefore popular for those special cases where the die caster is
making thin walled components requiring a good surface finish.
However, research testing has shown that metal and die temperatures
have a bigger effect than changing alloys. Close attention to control of
the die casting process parameters is important so as to eliminate defects
and achieve consistent quality.
No. 2 is the only ZAMAK alloy which is used for gravity casting;
mainly for metal forming dies or plastic injection tools. This alloy is
sometimes referred to as Kirksite. For die casting, No. 2 offers the
highest strength and hardness of the ZAMAK family. However, its high
copper content (3%) results in property changes upon long term aging.

Alloy

ZA-8

ZA-12

Description
These changes include slight dimensional growth (0.0014 in/in/after 20
yrs.), lower elongation and reduced impact performance (to levels
similar to aluminum alloys) for die cast products. Although No. 2 alloy
exhibits excellent castability, it has seen limited use by die casters in
North America. It does, however, provide some interesting
characteristics which may assist designers. Its creep performance is
rated higher than the other ZAMAKs and No. 2 maintains higher
strength and hardness levels after long term aging. Also, preliminary
investigations suggest No. 2 alloy is a good bearing material, and may
eliminate bushings and wear inserts in die cast designs.
A good gravity casting alloy, ZA-8 is rapidly growing for pressure die
casting. ZA-8 can be hot chamber die cast, with improved strength,
hardness and creep properties over ZAMAK's, with the exception of a
No. 2 alloy which is very similar in performance. ZA-8 is readily plated
and finished using standard procedures for ZAMAK. When the
performance of standard No. 3 or No. 5 is in question, ZA-8 is often the
die casting choice because of high strength and creep properties and
efficient hot chamber castability.
ZA-12 is the most versatile zinc alloy in terms of combining high
performance properties and ease of fabrication using either gravity or
pressure die casting. ZA-12 is the best gravity casting alloy for sand,
permanent mold and the new graphite mold casting process. It is also a
good pressure die casting alloy (cold chamber) which provides a
sounder structure than ZA-27, as well as higher die cast elongation and
impact properties. For these reasons, die cast ZA-12 often competes
with ZA-27 for strength application. An excellent bearing alloy, ZA-12
is also platable, although plating adhesion is reduced compared to the
ZAMAK alloys.

Mechanical Properties
Zamak Zamak Zamak Zamak
ZAZA-8
ZA-27
3
5
7
2
12
Ultimate Tensile Strength: psi x 103 41
(MPa)
(283)

48
(328)

41
(283)

52
(359)

54
58
61 (421)
(374) (400)

Yield Strength - 0.2% Offset: psi x 10 3 32


(MPa)
(221)

39
(269)

32
(221)

41
(283)

42
46
55 (379)
(290) (317)

Elongation: % in 2"

10

13

6-10 4-7

Shear Strength: psi x 103 (MPa)

31
(214)

38
(262)

31
(214)

46
(317)

40
43
47 (325)
(275) (296)

Hardness: Brinell

82

91

80

100

95-

95-

1-3

105-125

Zamak Zamak Zamak Zamak


ZAZA-8
ZA-27
3
5
7
2
12
110

115

432
(58)

482
(65)

432
(58)

352
(48)

313 213 93
(42) (29) (5)

Fatigue Strength Rotary Bend - 5x10 8 6.9


cycles: psi x 103 (MPa)
(48)

8.2
(57)

6.8
(47)

8.5
(59)

15
17
21 (145)
(103) (117)

Compressive Yield
Offset:
psi x 103 (MPa)

874
(600)

604
(414)

934
(641)

37
39
52 (385)
(252) (269)

Impact Strength: ft-lb (J)

Strength

0.1%

604
(414)

Modulus of Elasticity - psi x 106 12.46 12.46 12.46 12.46


(MPa x 103)
(85.5) (85.5) (85.5) (85.5)
Poisson's Ratio

0.27

0.27

0.27

0.27

0.29 0.30 0.32

Physical Properties
Zamak Zamak Zamak Zamak
ZA-8
3
5
7
2

ZA-12 ZA-27

Density: lb/cu in (g/cm3)

.24
(6.6)

.24
(6.6)

.24
(6.6)

.24
(6.6)

.227
(6.3)

.218
(6.0)

.181
(5.0)

Melting Range: F (C)

718728
(381387)

717727
(380386)

718728
(381387)

715734
(379390)

707759
(375404)

710810
(377432)

708903
(376484)

Electrical Conductivity: %IACS

27

26

27

25

27.7

28.3

29.7

Thermal
Conductivity: 65.3
62.9
65.3
60.5
66.3
67.1
72.5
BTU/ft/hr/F (W/m/hr/C)
(113.0) (108.9) (113.0) (104.7) (114.7) (116.1) (125.5)
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion:
15.2
68-212F in/in/F (100-200C
(27.4)
m/mm/C)

15.2
(27.4)

15.2
(27.4)

15.4
(27.8)

12.9
(23.3)

13.4
(24.2)

14.4
(26.0)

Specific
(J/kg/C)

.10
(419)

.10
(419)

.10
(419)

.104
(435)

.107
(448)

.125
(534)

.007

.007

.007

.007

.0075

.008

Heat:

BTU/lb/F .10
(419)

Pattern of Die Shrinkage: in/in

Compositions

.007

Chemical Specification (per ASTM) (% by Weight) for ZAMAK Alloys


Zamak 3

Zamak 5

Zamak 7

Zamak 2

Ingot

Ingot

Ingot

Ingot

Casting

Casting

Casting

Al

3.9-4.3 3.7-4.3

3.9-4.3 3.7-4.3

Mg

.03-.06 .02-.06

.03-.06

.02.06

.01-.02 .005-.02 .025-.0


.02-.06
0
0
5

Cu

.10 max .1 max

.7-1.1

.7-1.2

.10
max

.1 max

2.7-3.3 2.6-3.3

Fe (max)

.035

.05

.035

.05

.035

.035

.035

.05

Pb (max)

.0040

.005

.0040

.005

.0030

.003

.0040

.005

Cd (max)

.0030

.004

.0030

.004

.0020

.002

.0030

.004

Sn (max)

.0015

.002

.0015

.002

.0010

.001

.0015

.002

Ni (other)x10

.005-.0 .005-.02
20
0

Zn

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Color
Code None
ASTM B908

3.9-4.3 3.7-4.3

Casting

Black

Bal.

3.9-4.3 3.7-4.3

Bal.

Brown

Green

Chemical Specification (per ASTM) (% by Weight) for ZA Alloys


ZA-8

ZA-12

ZA-27

Ingot

Casting

Ingot

Casting

Ingot

Casting

Al

8.2-8.8

8.0-8.8

10.8-11.5 10.5-11.5

25.5-28.0 25.0-28.0

Mg

.02-.03

.01-.03

.02-.03

.01-.03

.012-.020 .01-.02

Cu

0.9-1.3

.8-1.3

0.5-1.2

0.5-1.2

2.0-2.5

2.0-2.5

Fe (max)

.035

.075

.05

.075

.07

.075

Pb (max)

.005

.006

.005

.006

.005

.006

Cd (max)

.005

.006

.005

.006

.005

.006

Sn (max)

.002

.003

.002

.003

.002

.003

Ni (other)x10

Chemical Specification (per ASTM) (% by Weight) for ZA Alloys


ZA-8
Zn

ZA-12

ZA-27

Ingot

Casting

Ingot

Casting

Ingot

Casting

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Bal.

Color
Code Blue
ASTM B908

Orange

Purple

5) zinc alloys

----High density

High ductility

Good impact strength

Excellent surface smoothness allowing for painting or plating

Requires such coating due to susceptibility to corrosion

Easiest to cast

Can form very thin walls

Long die life due to low melting point

Use of a hot chamber machine


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Zinc-based alloys (Table 2) are the easiest to die cast. Ductility is high and impact strength is
excellent, making these alloys suitable for a wide range of products. Zinc alloys can be cast with
thin walls and excellent surface smoothness making preparation for plating and painting
relatively easy.
It is essential that only high purity (99.99 + 0/0) zinc metal be used in the formulation of alloys.
Low limits on lead, tin and cadmium ensure the long-term integrity of the alloys strength and
dimensional stability

6) za family
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ZA-8, or zinc aluminum alloy, contains significantly more aluminum than the Zamak group of
alloys. ZA-8 contains approximately 8.4% aluminum and is the only ZA alloy that can be hotchamber die cast, an important consideration when selecting a material for a component.

ZA-8 has excellent finishing and plating characteristics and was originally developed as a
permanent mold alloy

It is ideal for decorative applications

Although it does not have as good casting characteristics as the other zinc alloys, it offers
significantly improved strength, hardness, and creep properties

In terms of mechanical performance, ZA 8 has the highest creep strength of any zinc
alloy and the highest strength of any hot-chamber die cast zinc alloy

Mechanical Properties

Imperial US/UK|
Metric

Yield
Tensile
Impact
Shear
Material Alloy
Strength
Hardness Elongation Process
Strength
Strength Strength
(0.2%)
Brinell
MPa
MPa
J
MPa
% in 50mm
(HB)
HotChamber
Zinc
ZA 8 374
290
42
275
103
6
Die
Casting

Physical Properties
Imperial US/UK
|
Metric
Melting
Point
Material Alloy Density
(Average
+/- 50)
3
g/cm
C
Zinc
ZA 8 6.3
390

Thermal
Conductivity

Coefficient of
Electrical
Thermal
Conductivity
Expansion

W/m K
114.7

m/mK
23.3

%IACS
27.7

Process

HotChamber

Melting
Point
Material Alloy Density
(Average
+/- 50)
3
g/cm
C

Thermal
Conductivity

Coefficient of
Electrical
Thermal
Conductivity
Expansion

W/m K

m/mK

Process

%IACS
Die
Casting

7) RELATIVE ALLOY WEIGHTS TO MAGNESIUM


Aluminum 1.6
Zinc

3.7

ZA Alloys

2.73.4

Magnesium 1.0

8)

Brass

4.7

Tin

4.0

Lead

6.3

Bronze

4.9

Zinc Alloys

Zinc-based materials are relatively easy to die cast, and respond well to the die
molding process. These materials are comprised of multiple metals in specific ratios.
For example, a typical zinc-based die casting workpiece consists of 86 percent zinc, 4
to 7 percent copper, and 7 to 10 percent tin. Slightly higher proportions of tin make
the workpiece more flexible, while increased copper levels improve rigidity. Zinc
alloys have a melting point in the range of 700 to 800 degreees Fahrenheit.
Zinc alloys are often used in place of cast iron or brass, but tend to have lower tensile
strength than their sturdier counterparts. Unless it is specially reinforced during the
alloying process, zinc-based material cannot exceed approximately 17,000 pounds per
square inch of force. As a result, die cast zinc products are generally not used in
applications involving high mechanical loads. Zinc castings can also be corroded by
alkaline substances or salt-water, and are often plated to preserve their luster despite
atmospheric conditions.

Tin Alloys
Alloys composed with a significant amount of tin as a base metal are most often used
in applications requiring corrosion resistance, such as those involving the food
industry or internal and external bearings. While the proportion of metals in these
alloys can vary widely, a typical tin alloy consists of 90 percent tin, 6 percent
antimony, and 4 percent copper, which is added to strengthen the materials durability.
Tin alloy die castings generally weigh under ten pounds and rarely exceed 1/32 of an
inch in thickness. They are valued for their resistance to alkaline, acids, and water, but
feature a comparatively low tensile strength rating of below 8,000 pounds per square
inch.
Bronze and Brass Alloys
Most bronze and brass materials can be die cast as effectively as zinc-based alloys,
although small holes can only be drilled into the workpiece after casting, rather than
during the casting process. Bronze and brass are commonly used to create washers,
camshaft components, and decorative products (due to their distinctive coloring and
potential for surface finishes). A typical brass alloy consists of 60 percent copper, 40
percent zinc, and 2 percent aluminum, but there are many variations on this mixture.
Die casting bronze and brass is capable of yielding products with a durable surface
and highly accurate interior specifications.
Some brasses have difficulty tolerating shrinkage from high temperature processes,
but despite these challenges, most of these alloys can be used for products weighing
up to fifteen pounds and with thicknesses at or under 1/32 of an inch. They are
generally suitable for applications requiring tensile strength of less than 8000 pounds
per square inch.
Aluminum Alloys
Die cast aluminum alloys are often found in automobile parts and gears, and have
been used to create surgical instruments in the past. They are generally stronger and
lighter than most zinc-based materials, but tend to be more expensive to create. Using
aluminum alloys can reduce the need for finishing treatments, such as plating, and a
common grade is composed of 92 percent aluminum mixed with 8 percent copper.
Magnesium may be added to this alloy to improve its tensile strength from around
21,000 pounds per square inch to approximately 32,000 per square inch, while nickel

can be included to increase rigidity and provide a higher surface finish. The melting
point for an aluminum alloy is around 1150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lead Alloys
Like tin alloys, lead-based materials tend to be used for their corrosion resistance and
in applications requiring no more than 8000 pounds of tensile strength per square
inch. Common applications include fire-safety equipment, bearings, and various
decorative metal goods. They are relatively inexpensive for producing castings under
15 pounds, but lead alloys cannot be used for products that will be in contact with
food. A typical lead alloy might be 90 percent lead and 10 percent antimony, with tin
being a common addition as well. The melting point is usually around 600 degrees
Fahrenheit, and product thickness rarely exceeds 1/32 of an inch.