Deco Products offers many solutions to complex product manufacturing problems but getting there isn’t always straightforward and requires engineering expertise and technology such as complex casting simulation software. Other methods of manufacturing are machining or sand casting, however, die casting offers better net shape to the design, a less porous and stronger part, and in many cases a large cost reduction per part compared to machining or prototyping.
Our consideration for achieving a successful die casting development project is through design reviews early in the design process. Key considerations for a zinc die casting design are to identify areas of concern such as visible show surfaces and stress concentration areas that require special attention in the mold tool design and fabrication.
Deco experts in die casting will perform preliminary analyses, such as mold flow analysis, prior to “cutting steel” for the mold fabrication. During our analyses, areas of concern for surface finish and porosity can be identified. Multiple iterations can be reviewed to determine the best design by balancing out the design parameters with the areas of concern.
As an example, one of our parts provided many design challenges. It was a prominent visual part for an office furniture storage unit. It needed a high-quality surface finish to provide good aesthetic, but also good strength. The constraints for this part included a deep thin-walled cavity and a limited gating area due to large show surface requirements where gate locations would not be acceptable.
During our flow simulations, it was determined by our expert engineers that a central rib directing the zinc deep into the cavity provided the best surface finish on the part. Furthermore, the ribbing structure provided good structural integrity to meet load requirements. Overflows, which are areas where excess material is tactically placed to remove air and increase the quality of castings, were added in strategic locations. These overflows then break away from the casting during further processing. Again, these are all elements that are optimized in our mold flow analysis.
Our result was an optimized part that provides for minimized porosity and thus strength while also achieving a good quality “show surface” and less scrap and increased tool life. Bottom line, there is great long term life cycle value in this preliminary analysis to provide best part and tooling life for the duration of the product life cycle.
This part optimization was provided by Deco Products, one of the industries experts in North America. Working with a manufacturing expert like Deco, allows great support for the for the part designer who would control and maintain the design parameters, but might not be an expert in the casting process. Through collaboration of the part designer and manufacturing expert a more optimal design can result.
This part was recognized recently by the North America Die Casting Association (NADCA) 2022 design award and is a great illustration of design optimization and collaboration. Click here following for more information.
Deco Product Company in Decorah, IA has been in business since 1960 and is the largest stand-alone zinc die caster in North America.
The North America Die Casting Association (NADCA) is the largest association for die casting in North America. They create the industry standards and provide resources to help grow businesses in the industry technically and operationally. Annually they host the NADCA Die Casting Competition. This competition recognizes, rewards, and publicizes the outstanding casting designs of the year. The entry judging is based on design, quality, cost savings, ingenuity, innovation, and market-expanding potential.