Aluminum, Zinc and Copper alloys are the materials predominantly used in die-casting. On the other hand, pure Aluminum is rarely cast due to high shrinkage, and susceptibility to hot cracking. It is alloyed with Silicon, which increases melt fluidity, reduces machinability. Copper is another alloying element, which increases hardness, reduces ductility, and reduces corrosion resistance.
Aluminum is cast at a temperature of 650 ºC (1200 ºF). It is alloyed with Silicon 9% and Copper about 3.5% to form the Aluminum Association 380 alloy (UNS A03800). Silicon increases the melt fluidity, reduces machinability, Copper increases hardness and reduces the ductility. By greatly reducing the amount of Copper (less than 0.6%) the chemical resistance is improved; thus, AA 360 (UNS A03600) is formulated for use in marine environments. A high silicon alloy is used in automotive engines for cylinder castings, AA 390 (UNS A03900) with 17% Silicon for high wear resistance. Common aluminum alloys for die casting are summarized as follows:
|Fair easy to fill
|Easy to fill
|Good corrosion resistance
|Good wear resistance