3 Ways to Improve Your Die Casting Operation with Shot Blasting

Sep 08 2016, by skynetmts in Transmet Blog
State of Die Casting in the United States

Good news for die casters in the United States: forecasts show that the industry will see a 5% growth in 2016. The optimism is fueled by the strong growth in aluminum auto and light truck casting production, according to the NADCA (Fact: the largest market served by the die casting industry is automotive).

Aluminum use on the automobile is expected to continue its growth; soaring to a predicted average of 547 pounds per car in 2025. If you couple the growth in usage with the projected growth in the number of vehicles worldwide, die castings will continue to be a major part in every vehicle.

 

Manufacturing Productivity

As we continue to encounter growth of die casting in the United States, companies must continuously improve all areas of their business to remain relevant. Productivity has grown by 40% since 2000, and the NADCA says that trend will continue. This means that for die casters it will be important to continue to become more productive to keep up with growth.

 

Process Technology Adaptation

Technology adaptation is imperative in the die casting industry; new process technologies could dramatically alter the die casting industry in a positive way for early adopters. With many stages from start to finish, this leaves a number of areas that can be improved (material costs, new alloys, batch finishing processes, cycle time, etc.).

One area that die casters (especially large automotive suppliers) can see improvement is in their process for removing flash and deburring of castings. Tumbling parts in a shot blasting machine is a cost-effective finishing process due to the large number of parts that can be run with little or no supervision by an operator.

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Die Casting Operation with Shot Blasting:

1. Implement the shot blasting process in-house (if not already)

This allows for better control of the process and eliminates costs associated with sending parts to a 3rd party.

2. Evaluate both the type and size of blast media for your application

The goal is to select the shot that will have the energy to remove flash and other items in a timely manner while imparting a uniform finish on the parts (Read more about how blast media size affects impact energy and surface finish).

3. Develop the most efficient combination of media, cycle time, cycle size, and wheel speed

Tracking and adjusting these aspects of the shot blasting process will lead to the greatest return on investment for your operation (Learn how this die caster reduced shot consumption by 65% and shortened cycle times by 40%).

 

 

Long-Lasting, Non-Damaging Blast Media

Transmet Cast Shot first saw success as a non-contaminating media to blast aluminum. Many of the conventional shot products on the market were contaminating parts and also over-blasting them. Transmet Cast Shot was developed at a hardness that would not damage substrates.

Transmet’s Cast Zinc Shot blast media has a density closer to stainless steel, giving it the mass to remove heavier flash. The 91 Knoop hardness of the ZA4 Alloy Cast Zinc Shot is still a soft media that will not damage castings. The hardness of blast media will continue to grow in importance as die casters create new alloys with thinner walls in an effort to cut material costs.

Transmet Cast Shot on average lasts significantly longer than most media. 4x longer than steel shot, 3x longer than zinc cut wire, and 10,000x longer than glass bead and aluminum oxide. Die casters using Cast Zinc Shot in their blast process also find a cosmetic benefit, with a resulting finish that is very bright and evenly textured.

Zinc Die Cast Part Blasted With Cast Zinc Shot

This die caster cut cycle times by 70%. Click to see more before and after pictures on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you using a different media in your shot blasting process, or interested in how shot blasting can save your company money? Get in touch with a Transmet Engineer by email or call 614-276-5522.