Casting vs. Diecasting: A Complete Comparison

When we think of casting and die casting, we often imagine a process that is not as intricate as it may seem. However, the two methods are actually very different, and the difference lies in many aspects, such as the materials, process, cost, and speed. This blog post will give a complete comparison between the two techniques. So, what’s the difference between casting and diecasting?

The main difference between casting and diecasting is the material used in the process. Casting uses metals and other materials such as epoxy, plastic, concrete, and clay, while diecasting uses non-ferrous metals such as zinc, aluminum, tin, and magnesium. Furthermore, casting tends to be cheaper than diecasting.

In this blog post, we will talk about the difference between casting and diecasting. I also provided a table summary to make it easier to understand. Furthermore, I also differentiated die and cast to give you a complete understanding of the topic.

Casting vs. Diecasting
What is the difference between casting and diecasting?

What is the difference between casting and die casting?

ProcessPouringInjection Molding
MaterialsMetal, Epoxy, Plaster, Concrete, and Clay Zinc, Copper, Aluminum, Magnesium, Lead, and Tin-based alloys
CostCheaperMore Expensive
Best ForLow Volume ProductionHigh Volume Production
Table Comparison Between Casting and Diecasting

Casting is a 7,000 years old manufacturing process that involves pouring a liquid material into a mold, containing a hollow hole of the required shape and then allowing it to solidify.

The solidified portion, also known as a casting, is ejected out of the mold to finish the process.

Casting materials are typically metals or time-setting materials that harden after combining two or more items; examples include epoxy, plaster, concrete, and clay.

Casting is most commonly utilized to create intricate shapes that would be difficult or expensive to make using other procedures.

Heavy equipment, such as machine tool beds and ship propellers, can be easily cast in the desired dimension instead of manufacturing by combining multiple small pieces.

On the other hand, Die casting is also a metal casting process that involves squeezing molten metal into a mold cavity under high pressure.

During the molding process, hardened tool steel dies are used to construct the mold cavity, which is comparable to injection mold.

Non-ferrous metals, particularly zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium, lead, pewter, and tin-based alloys, are used to make the majority of die castings. A hot-chamber or cold-chamber machine is employed depending on the metal being cast.

The high capital cost of the casting machinery and metal dies tends to confine the technique to high-volume manufacture.

Die casting part manufacturing is relatively simple, requiring only four primary procedures, which keeps the incremental cost per item low.

Diecasting is particularly suited to producing a high number of small- to medium-sized castings; that’s why die casting generates the most castings of any casting method. In addition, die castings have an excellent surface polish and dimensional consistency (by casting standards).

Steel molds are used in both permanent molds and die casting to construct a cool molten aluminum chamber.

The most significant difference between the two steel die processes is how the metal is incorporated into the tooling.

The metal flows into the cavity from a reservoir during permanent mold casting. A gate regulates the flow rate to reduce turbulence. A typical die will have a riser at its top portion and be configured to fill from the bottom or side of the die.

After the metal has been filled, it can freeze before the mold is opened and the item is removed. Internal galleries are made by fitting inserts into the mold before it is closed.

Unlike gravity-fed permanent mold casting, Die casting uses pressure to drive metal into the cavity.

As a result, it is pretty similar to injection molding in the plastics industry. As with permanent mold casting, the mold is opened, and the cast forms are removed once the metal has solidified.

When larger quantities are required, permanent mold and die casting speed makes it cost-effective to purchase metal mold tools.

Die casting tools are often more expensive than permanent die tools, but the technique produces a more accurate item with thinner walls and smoother surfaces.

Although the permanent mold technique is slower than die casting, the tools are inexpensive. In addition, and this is typically a deciding factor, the produced parts are more robust and have less porosity.

Here are the Benefits of Die Casting

  • Diecasting provides an excellent finish on the surface when it’s made. As a result, secondary machining and finishing may be required with little to no effort.
  • Diecasting can keep very close geometrical tolerances, even with fragile walls.
  • Diecasting compared to permanent mold casting, the part-to-part process is more efficient, resulting in lower unit costs.
  • The equipment frequently requires less floor area than that required for permanent mold casting. This is more important to the caster than the casting buyer, but it may help reduce overhead costs given based on space occupied.

Here are the benefits of permanent mold casting

  • Permanent mold dies are typically less complicated and thus less expensive than die casting dies.
  • The surface finish is often in the 125 to 300 microinches range, implying that secondary machining is not required.
  • Because the process generates less porosity than die casting, finished part yields will be higher.
  • Castings are generally more durable.

What is the difference between die and casting?

Die is a specialized mold in a machine that uses pressure to produce molded products. On the other hand, casting is the process that involves pouring a liquid material into a mold containing a hollow hole of the required shape and then allowing it to solidify.

Casting molds are typically made of gray cast iron since it has the best thermal fatigue resistance, although other metals such as steel, bronze, and graphite are also used.

The materials used for casting were selected for their resistance to erosion and thermal fatigue.

Since the mold does not allow for collapsibility, an alternative to shrinkage, they are typically not very intricate.

Instead, the mold is opened once the casting has solidified, preventing heated tears. Then, cores, which are often constructed of sand or metal, can be used.

The mold is usually heated before the first casting cycle and then continually used to retain as uniform a temperature as feasible during the process.

Retaining temperature reduces thermal fatigue, improves metal flow, and aids in controlling the cooling rate of the casting metal.

Furthermore, venting is often accomplished via a bit of fissure between the two mold parts, but tiny vent holes are used if this is insufficient.

They are tiny enough to allow air to escape but not molten metal. However, a riser should be incorporated to fill up for shrinking. This frequently reduces the output to lower than 60%.

In case coatings are insufficient to extract casts from molds, mechanical ejectors in the shape of pins are utilized. These pegs are inserted into the mold and typically leave little circular impressions on the casting.

A die is a specialized machine tool used in the manufacturing industry to cut and or mold material to a specific shape or profile.

Stamping dies are used with a press, whereas drawing dies (used in wire production) and casting dies (used in molding) are not. Dies, such as molds, are typically customized to what they are used to produce.

Die-cut products range from basic paper clips to complicated parts utilized in cutting-edge technology.

Continuous-feed laser cutting, for example, may displace a similar die-based technique in the car industry.

So to make things simple, diecasting is a specialized form of casting that allows for faster production. It uses pressure to accelerate the process rather than regular casting, which is an old way of pouring molten metals or materials into casts or molds.

What’s Next? Now that you know that diecasting is a special casting process, it is nice to see if it is generally cheaper or expensive. In another blog post, I talked about this topic and how manufacturers reduce the price of diecasting. You can read it here: Is diecasting cheap or expensive?

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