Every day, from the moment we get up till the time we go to bed again, we use products containing metal components produced by die casting. This is something that 32-year-old Christopher Boss, as the new Exhibition Director of EUROGUSS and its international spinoffs, is very much aware of. He explains what die casting is and where you can find it. Boss is a degree-qualified economist who has worked in the exhibition business for around 10 years. He joined NürnbergMesse 18 months ago.
Mr Boss, what is die casting?
Christopher Boss, Exhibition Director EUROGUSS; Photo: NürnbergMesse
Boss: Die casting is a forming process for the serial production of parts made primarily of aluminium, magnesium and zinc and their corresponding alloys. In a die casting machine, molten metal is forced into a permanent (reusable) steel mould, where it assumes the contours of the mould and solidifies. This process takes place under a pressure of up to 1,000 bar, with the melt reaching impressive mould filling speeds of as much as 120 m/s, equivalent to more than 430 km/h!
What are the advantages of the die-casting process over other shaping and forming processes?
Boss: What’s special about die casting is that thin-walled parts can be manufactured with simple or complicated geometries. Die-cast parts offer very high dimensional accuracy, very precise contours and excellent surface quality. Production is largely automated and cycle times are short, with 300 pouring cycles an hour possible. The moulds for zinc die casting achieve service lives of between 500,000 to 2 million cycles. Die casting processes offer a high supply readiness, as the reusable moulds allow short set-up, production and throughput times, enabling just-in-time deliveries and reducing customer inventory. In short: die casting is used where the process has to be simple, large volumes are needed and weight is an important factor.
“Since I have been responsible for EUROGUSS I have been seeing die-cast products everywhere.”
Where do we come across die-cast parts in our daily lives?
Boss (laughing): Since I have been responsible for EUROGUSS I have been seeing die-cast products everywhere. When I open the bedroom window in the morning the handle and hinges are die-cast. When I stumble over my son’s model railway because I am still half asleep, I am glad that it is made of die-cast zinc and is therefore very strong. In the bathroom, I find die-cast products in the fittings, mirror mount and razor. And when I open the wardrobe I see the handle and notice that die-casting has been involved in producing the zip of my trousers. In the kitchen, die-casting has gone into the enclosures or holders of electrical appliances like the toaster or coffee machine. And the frame under the plastic cover of the light switch has also been die-cast. The button on my folding car key is made of die-cast zinc, and in the car itself, there are numerous parts made primarily of die-cast aluminium, such as the engine block, door frames, gearbox housing, crankcase and clutch housing, to name just a few. When I get to the office I notice the casing of my laptop or smartphone, die-cast of course. And when I drink a glass of wine on my balcony after work, the corkscrew and the frame of my sunglasses are also die-cast products. So as you see, die casting is an indispensable part of our daily lives.
Thank you very much for talking to us!
Around 600 exhibitors will provide insights into the current status of die-casting technology at the EUROGUSS international trade fair in Nuremberg from 16 to 18 January 2018. EUROGUSS is the only event covering the entire die casting process chain, from high-tech machines through new materials to efficient services. In addition, the NürnbergMesse Group is also involved in other die casting event like CHINA DIECASTING (held annually in Shanghai) and ALUCAST, which is held in India in the even years and alternates between Bangalore and Delhi.