Zinc the easiest metal to cast; high ductility; high impact strength; easily plated; economical for small parts; promotes long die life. For countless decorative and functional applications no other material and process can match the properties and economics of zinc die casting.
Zinc casting alloys are stronger than reinforced molded polymers and zinc’s hardness, self lubricating properties, dimensional stability and high modulus make it suitable for working mechanical parts, such as gears and pinions, that would be less durable if molded from polymers. Zinc’s excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as precise casting tolerances, make it an ideal material choice for heat sinks, electrical components and applications requiring electromagnetic shielding. Zinc can be cast at moderate temperatures thus providing significant energy and processing savings over other metals and engineering alloys.
Zinc castings also accept a broad assortment of finishes allowing almost any desired aesthetic characteristic and coating durability to be achieved. For example, zinc castings can be made to look like solid gold, weathered brass, stainless steel, and even leather And, because of zinc’s density, cast zinc parts provide a feel of substance and durability that simply cannot be matched by plastic components.
The Zinc Alloys
There are two basic families of zinc casting alloys: ZAMAK alloys and ZA alloys. Zamak alloys contain approximately 4% aluminum and provide excellent die castability and good strength. The majority of zinc die castings are made from Zamak alloys. ZA alloys contain higher amounts of aluminum and offer superior strength.
From bathroom fixtures and door and window hardware to office equipment and tools as well as automotive and countless electronic components, zinc castings are truly everywhere and positively impact our lives on a daily basis.