High Pressure Die Casting PL (HPDC)

Objects produced in this PL also utilize dies; however, in this case the dies are horizontally aligned. Due to the high pressure used when casting, detailed, thin walled components are produced. The high clamping pressure – up to 1,200 bars – holds the two halves of the die together. Cold-chamber, high pressure die casting machines such as this one, are mainly used for Al and Mg alloys.

Here, the casting assembly is located outside the two independent melting furnaces. The molten metal is fed into a shot chamber, from where a piston drives the metal into the die. At the same time, a high vacuum system removes all air/gas within the die cavity. After filling the die, the injection pressure is maintained as the metal cools. Once the metal has cooled and solidified, the two halves of the die are opened, and the casting is automatically ejected from the die by ejector pins, enabling a robotic arm to then remove the casting from the die chamber. The method has short casting cycles and is suitable for thin-walled components with smooth surfaces. The method is also fully automated. Due to the high investment and operation costs and the complicated and expensive dies, the method is used for production of large volume components.

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MAIN INNOVATIONS during LightMe Project

Besides the innovations referred already in the LPDC, cover gases will allow the safer use of novel castable magnesium alloys. Overall the optimization of the following aspects is targeted: optimum NP addition levels, optimum processing time, improved distribution of NPs, reduced porosity due to agglomeration, improved wetting, and reduced deleterious in situ reactions. Key performance indicators; increased wear resistance, reduced porosity ensuring the component is leak tight, and a reduction in weight over traditional steel. The following innovations will be achieved:


Understanding the effect of the quantity of heterogeneous NP on viscosity and how this impacts on filling of the die and resultant defects.


Integration of ultrasonication, mechanical stirring and electromagnetic stirring systems improve the homogeneity of NPs dispersion in the melt.


Use of cover gases. Prevent the formation of deleterious reaction products