This guide is to help designers and material specifiers to better understand the capabilities of zinc casting alloys for product applications.
Zinc casting alloys are versatile engineering materials. No other alloy system provides the combination of strength, toughness, rigidity, bearing performance and economical castability. Listed are zinc alloy attributes which can reduce component costs. Improving precision quality and product performance are other zinc alloy design advantages discussed in this brochure.
Precision Tolerances: Zinc alloys are castable to closer tolerances than other materials or molded plastics, therefore presenting the opportunity to reduce or eliminate machining. “Net Shape” or “Zero Machining” manufacturing is a major advantage of zinc casting.
Strength & Ductility: Zinc alloys offer high strengths (to 60,000 psi) and superior elongation for strong designs and formability for bending, crimping and riveting operations.
Toughness: Few materials provide the strength and toughness of zinc alloys. Impact resistance is significantly higher than cast aluminum alloys, plastics, and grey cast iron.
Rigidity: Zinc alloys have the rigidity of metals with modulus of elasticity characteristics equivalent to other die castable materials. Stiffness properties are, therefore, far superior
to engineering plastics.
Anti-Sparking: Zinc alloys are nonsparking and suitable for hazardous location applications such as coal mines, tankers and refineries.
Bearing Properties: Bushing and wear inserts in component designs can often be eliminated because of zinc’s excellent bearing properties. For example, zinc alloys have outperformed bronze in heavy duty industrial applications.
Easy Finishing: Zinc castings are readily polished, plated, painted, chromated or anodized for decorative and /or functional service.
Thin Wall Castability: High casting fluidity, regardless of casting process, allows for thinner wall sections to be cast in zinc compared to other metal.
Machinability: Fast, trouble-free machining characteristics of zinc materials minimize tool wear and machining costs.
Long Tool Life: Low casting temperatures result in less thermal shock and, therefore, extended life for die casting tools. For example, tooling life can be more than 10 times that of aluminum dies.