Casting of metals is an ancient process. Bronze casts poured into beeswax molds—date back a staggering 5,000 years and have been found in ancient ruins. The first two earliest periods of human history are chronologically marked from and named for the emergence of new metal casting technology—the Bronze and Iron Ages. Steels—while commonplace in modern life— have developed only over the last ~ 150 years.
While time has not changed the basic principles of die casting, modernization of the equipment, and process has opened the way to make larger and more advanced parts of quality. Today, die casting of metals is a major and growing manufacturing sector in part due to natural advantages of the process suiting requirements found in modern products.
Applications in the fields of automation and robotics, telecommunication, and automotive for part manufacturers are skyrocketing. These types of products have requirements that give casting processes an edge and are seeing tremendous growth. These modern designs have specialized requirements that drive exciting manufacturing innovations.
Here are a few examples of the design requirements of modern products driving advances in die casting manufacturing technology:
Third only to copper and diamond, aluminum is one of the best thermal conductors of any material. Aluminum die-casts fairly easily, allowing it to be formed into the complex thin shapes of radiators and heat sinks with minimal additional machining for these kinds of parts. Aluminum also serves as a good choice for electronic housings with a balance of strength and low weight, and natural corrosion resistance combined with its electrical and thermal conductivity (conductive cases can also be needed in applications involving wireless and cellular signal transmission).
One of the biggest design challenges developers face when working with products such as electric motors or telecommunication equipment is how to remove the large amounts of thermal energy they produce.