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Zinc Die Casting

Multi-Slide and Automated Conventional High Pressure Zinc Die Casting

Zinc Die Casting alloys are tough, reliable engineering materials that are cost-effective and endure longer than other alloy options. The unique alloy combination provides rigidness, strength, and increased value to die cast products. Zinc alloy processing is very economical due to the low melting temperature and it’s ability to produce thousands, or even millions, of parts with one set of Zinc Die Casting tools.

Zinc Die Casting

Zinc Die Casting Benefits

From cost savings to longer product lifespan, zinc die casting can benefit your project in many ways.

  • Net Shape Casting
  • Long Tool Life
  • Fast Cycle Times
  • Low Melting Point
  • High Strength Properties
  • Thin Wall Capability
  • Good Creep Resistance
  • Superior Finish Characteristics
  • Excellent Conductivity
  • Sustainability

 

ZINC ALLOYS OFFERED

At Cast Products we cast a variety of different Zinc Alloys to meet your needs. Our complex blend of Zinc and other metals creates a low-cost, high-performing die-cast that will be ideal for your project and last for many years. Below are Zinc Alloys available for your casting needs.

ZAMAK 2 Zinc Casting Alloy

Zamak 2, a predecessor of the more widely used Zamak 3, has the highest strength and hardness in the zinc-4% aluminum (Zamak) alloy family. Because of its relatively high copper content (3%), it is about 25% stronger, as cast, than Zamak 3, and almost 10% stronger than Zamak 5, with higher hardness than either. The high copper content, however, results in property changes upon long term aging. These changes include slight dimensional growth (.0014in/in after 20yrs), lower elongation and reduced impact performance (to levels similar to aluminum alloys) for die cast products. It does, however, provide some interesting characteristics which may assist designers. Its creep performance is rated higher than the other Zamaks and Zamak 2 maintains higher tensile strength and hardness levels after long term aging. Also, preliminary investigations suggest Zamak 2 is a good bearing material and may eliminate bushings and wear inserts in die cast designs. But it does give up impact strength and because of this limitation, Zamak 2 is used only when the strength or hardness of Zamak 3 or 5 are not sufficient for long term end use. Zamak 2 is sometimes referred to as Kirksite and is the only alloy which is used for gravity casting; mainly for metal forming dies or plastic injection tools.

ZAMAK 3 Zinc Casting Alloy

Of all the zinc casting alloys, Zamak 3 is the most widely used, accounting for approx. 85% of all zinc casting tonnage. Its superb physical and mechanical properties, excellent castability and long term dimensional stability provide the basis for its broad usage. The ease with which it can be electroplated adds to the popularity of this alloy, with 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 and is, therefore, the most widely available alloy from die casting sources.

ZAMAK 5 Zinc Casting Alloy

Most often, through casting design procedures, a Zamak 3 pressure die casting can be made to meet service or functional requirements. When this is not the case, especially where strength is concerned, Zamak 5 is the logical choice. Except for a nominal 1% copper addition, the chemistry of Zamak 5 is comparable to that of Zamak 3. This composition modification results in higher tensile strength and increased hardness, but with a sacrifice in elongation. Zamak 5 also has significantly better creep resistance than the other alloys in the conventional group. Zamak 5 is not as ductile as some of the other alloys, a factor to consider when post casting operations such as secondary bending, riveting, swaging or crimping are required. Because of Zamak 3’s wide availability, material specifiers often strengthen components by design modification instead of using Zamak 5. However, when an extra measure of tensile performance is needed, Zamak 5 castings are recommended. The alloy is readily plated, finished and machined, comparable to Zamak 3.

ZA-8 Zinc Casting Alloy

Of all the zinc alloys that can be cast in hot-chamber machines, ZA-8 is the most creep resistant (three times that of Zamak 3) and is the strongest and hardest, with the exception of Zamak 2, which is very similar in performance. It is used principally in structural or highly stressed applications. In spite of its relatively high aluminum content, it can be electroplated using conventional plating techniques and finished using standard procedures for Zamaks. When the performance of standard Zamak 3 or Zamak 5 is in question, ZA-8 is often the die casting choice because of high strength and creep properties and efficient hot chamber castability.

Zinc Die Casting Equipment

Since 1966, Cast Products, Inc. has been a North American leader in design and full- scale manufacturing of precision zinc die cast components. Although the majority of our current production utilizes the Multi-Slide die casting process, we are equally strong in the manufacture of larger, Conventional Hot-Chamber die casting parts. We have 30 Hot-Chamber die cast machines ranging in size from 2X2, 4X4, 6X6, 8X8 & 80 Ton to meet your production requirements.

We can help with your project, contact us to get started.

Zinc Die Casting
  • 1 Model 22 “NT” Techmire Machines
  • 1 Model 44 “NT” Techmire Machines
  • 2 Model 44 “NTX” Techmire Machines
  • 2 Model 66 “NT” Techmire Machines
  • 10 Model 66 “NTX” Techmire Machines
  • 10 Model 88 “NTX” Techmire Machines
  • 4 Conventional Die Casting Machines ranging from 25-80 tons including 2 Frech W80 conventional automated machines
Drilling and Tapping Equipment

Over 50 Machines ranging from multi-head tap machines to production lathes

Tool Room Equipment
  • 5000 square foot on-site integrated die fabrication department
  • 1 Creative Evolution HSD-500 High Speed CNC machine
  • 1 HAAS VM3 CNC machine
  • 1 HAAS VF2 CNC machine
  • 1 HAAS Super mini high speed CNC machine
  • 1 Charmilles Roboform 22 EDM Machine
  • 1 Agie/Charmilles Form 30 CNC EDM Machine
CAD/CAM Software
  • Solidworks 2016
  • AutoCAD 2012
  • Mastercam “X8“
  • Cimatron E13
  • Magmasoft 5.0
Metal Finishing
  • 1 Viking Model CB1212 Continuous belt feed blast machine
  • 1 Goff 6 Cubic foot barrel shot blast machine
  • 1 Goff 3 Cubic foot barrel shot blast machine
  • 4 Sweco Vibratory Finishing Tubs
Quality Equipment
  • Brown & Sharpe Global Advantage 7107 DCC CMM System
  • Brown & Sharpe Micro-Hite CNC CMM
  • Each CMM is loaded with Hexagon Metrology PC-DMIS CAD++ Software
  • Brucker Q4 Tasman 200 Optical Emission Spectrometer
  • Optical Gaging Products Opticom Qualifier 14B Comparator
  • A complete line of inspection instruments ranging from handheld micrometers and calipers to digital drop indicators. We can build custom test equipment for pressure and load failure testing.

ZINC ALLOY SPECIFICATIONS

Physical Properties

Alloy No. 2 Alloy No. 3 Alloy No. 5 ZA 8 **Aluminum #380
Density lb/cu (a) 70° F 0.24 0.24 0.24 0.227 0.098
Melting Rage (° F) 715-734 719-728 717-727 707-759 1000-1100
Elec. Conductivity % IACS 25 27 26 27.7 27
Therm. Conductivity BTU/ft hroF (a) 75-198°F 60.5 65.3 62.9 66.3 55.6
Specific Heat BTU/ft hroF (a) 75-198°F 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.104 0.23
Coeff Of Therm. Exp. in. in/°F (a) 68-212°F 15.4 15.2 15.2 12.9 11.8
Pattern or Die Shrinkage in/in 0.006 0.006 0.006 0.007 0.006

Composition

Alloy No. 2 Alloy No. 3 Alloy No. 5 ZA 8 **Aluminum #380
Pb lead 0.004* 0.004* 0.004* 0.004*
Fe Iron 0.075* 0.075* 0.075* 0.10* 2
Cd Cadmium 0.003* 0.003* 0.003* 0.003*
Al Aluminum 3.9-4.3 3.9-4.3 3.9-4.3 8.0-8.8
Mg Magnesium 0.025-0.050 0.025-0.050 0.03-0.06 0.015-0.030 0.1
Cu Copper 2.6-2.9 0.10* 0.75-1.25 0.8-1.3 3.0-4.0
Sn Tin 0.002* 0.002* 0.002* 0.002* 0.35
Zn Zinc Bal. Bal. Bal. Bal. 3
Others *maximum

Mechanical Properties

Alloy No. 2 Alloy No. 3 Alloy No. 5 ZA 8 **Aluminum #380
Die Cast Aged Die Cast Aged Die Cast Aged Die Cast Aged Die Cast Aged
Utl. Ten Str., ksi 52 48 41 35 48 39 54 43 46
Yld. Str. 0.2% offset,ksi 42 32 23
Elong. % 2 in., % 7 2 10 16 7 13 6-10 20 3.5
Shear Str. ksi 46 31 38 28
Hardness BHN 100 98 82 72 91 80 95-110 91 80
Impact Str., ft-lb. 35A 5A 43A 41A 48A 40A 31B 13B 3
Fatigue tr. Rotary Bend. ksi 5×108 cycles 8.5 6.9 8.2 20
Comp. Yld. Str. 0.1% offset, ksi 93C 60C 87C

Zinc and ZA Alloy Specifications (Federal QQ-)

Comm’l UNS ASTM B86 Former SAE J469 Zin 363a DIN JIS
2 Z35541 AC43A 921 AC43A 1743
3 Z33520 AG40A 903 AG40A 1743 ZDC-2
5 Z35531 AC41A 925 AC41A 1743 ZDC-1
7 Z33523 AG40B AG40B
ZA-8 Z35636
ZA-12 Z35631
ZA-27 Z35841

A. 0.25 in. square specimen
B. 10mm square specimen
C. Compression strength
*1/4 inch unnotched Charpy
*Magnesium may be as low as 0.015% provided that the lead, cadmium, and tin do not exceed 0.003, 0.003, and 0.001% respectively.
*For the majority of the commercial applications, a copper content in the range from 0.25 to 0.75% will not adversely affect the serviceability of die castings and should not serve as a basis for rejection.

Symbols Key:
UNS – United Numbering System
ASTM – American Society for Testing Materials
FED – Federal Specifications
SAE – Society for Automotive Engineers
JIS – Japenses Industrial Standard
DIN – German Industrial Standard

**Aluminum #380 is listed for comparison only

Advantages and Benefits of Zinc Die Casting

 

What is a Zinc Alloy?

Zinc Alloys refer to any metal composed of at least two elements, with one being Zinc. These resulting metal alloys are more beneficial than just a singular metal. Zinc metal alloys are more uniform in nature and have improved physical, chemical, electrical, and corrosion-resistant properties. For these reasons, Zinc alloys stand out as a preferred choice in metal alloys available for Die Casting projects.

Why should you choose Zinc Die Casting for your next project?

There are several reasons why Zinc Die Casting is often chosen for die cast projects. That’s because it is one of the more versatile die cast metals available. With Zinc Die Casting you can achieve higher precision, casting to net-shape, with reduced tooling costs in comparison to other common die cast metals like aluminum or magnesium. Using Zinc Die Casting gives products a wide range of preferred physical and mechanical properties, along with superior finishing characteristics, while being the most economical alloy to cast.

Today, choosing Zinc Die Casting can reduce your overall project costs. Zinc has a low melting temperature which equates to less energy usage in processing.  Zinc alloy properties also make them less aggressive on tooling which means dies last up to 10 times longer than aluminum, and up to 5 times longer than a die with magnesium. Longer lifespans of production tooling mean fewer repairs, less downtime, and greater part production.  Greater efficiency with lower capital investment.

Zinc Die Casting is ideal for projects within the building, industrial, electronic, recreational, and automotive industries.  Zinc Die Casting alloys are tough, reliable engineering materials that are cost-effective and endure longer than other alloy options. The unique alloy combination provides rigidness, strength, and increased value to die cast products. Zinc alloy processing is very economical, and environmentally friendly providing users the ability to produce millions of parts with one set of tools.  Contact us for more information on what Zinc can do for you.

Recent History of the US Zinc Die Casting Industry

 

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has seen a structural supply chain shift in manufacturing, including the Zinc Die Casting industry. Huge amounts of products shifted from manufacturing on US shores to abroad; China being the main benefactor. Chinese manufacturers were able to offer lower prices for not only Zinc die castings, but also tooling, machining and assembly, resulting in lower purchasing costs for manufactured zinc products.

Today, as an industry, Cast Products have studied offshoring significantly to help determine how we can be competitive on this global stage. We have also recently seen how geopolitical risks are affecting this supply chain, from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to the war between Ukraine and Russia. Due to these factors, there is an ongoing movement to reshore manufacturing domestically, like the Zinc Die Casting industry.

The Real Cost of Offshoring Zinc Die Casting – Calculating TCO (Total Cost of Ownership):

A key factor in offshoring manufacturing is considering the true cost of purchasing from non-US sources. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a financial term used to help buyers and owners determine all the costs of a product, not just the purchase price. These additional costs may include:

• Goods damaged during transport
• Defects
• Travel costs
• Emergency Air Freight Costs
• Currency fluctuations
• Inventory carrying costs
• In addition, there are less quantifiable issues such as no credit terms, communication issues, inflation, etc.

Efforts have been made to show the difference in these costs, with the purchasing costs on average being only 77% of the true cost of offshoring products (Source: Reshoring Initiative).

Research has also been done on this subject specifically for Die Casting. Two reports entitled “China Has Lost Its Cost Advantage in Die Casting” parts 1 and 2 (Bill Downey), show summaries of surveys to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) which give insight as:

• Why the die casting industry left our shores
• Savings that were realized by going offshore
• The premium OEMs were willing to pay for US parts.

Using data trends and calculations (including rising inflation, transportation costs, etc), the report pointed out approximately when parts made in the U.S. would be competitive with Chinese parts. According to the report, that parity date occurred in 2012. When calculating the TCO, offshoring your Zinc die casting and tooling, isn’t a smart business move.

It’s Time to Choose a US Partner for Zinc Die Casting

The improvements made in our Zinc die cast manufacturing facilities over the last 20 years, and our current capabilities and services can match or exceed the level received from off-shore sources. View our new technology in alloys, automation, and engineering to learn the advantages of Zinc Die Casting from US manufacturers like Cast Products.

Cast Products is your partner, and we look forward to the opportunities to provide you with superior Zinc Die Casting and Tooling services.

QUESTIONS ON MATERIALS, PROCESS, OR PRICING?

Contact Us

Cast Products, Inc.

Location

4200 N. Nordica
Norridge, IL 60706

Phone
(708) 457-1500

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Proudly Made in the U.S.A.