With nearly 60 per cent of all zinc consumed each year going toward protecting steel from corrosion, it is not a surprise that galvanised coatings dominate the discussion for zinc markets. Die castings, zinc’s second-largest market, come in a distant 15 per cent of annual consumption; however, the International Zinc Association (IZA) sees strong potential in the zinc die casting market, and has launched a campaign to bring it back into the global spotlight.
Die casting is a manufacturing process in which molten metal is injected at high pressure into steel molds. The molds – called dies – are specific to each individual project. Die casting can have significant advantages over other manufacturing processes and typically results in major cost savings. Casting enables the creation of complex net shapes, including external, thereby minimising secondary operations. The process also allows for multiple parts to be combined into one component, eliminating assembly operations and thus lowering labour costs. Aluminum, zinc and magnesium alloys are the most commonly used die casting alloys.