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ZINC CASTING ALLOYS

This guide is to help designers quality requirement. Precision, Toughness: Bearing Properties: characteristics of zinc materials
and material specifiers to better high-volume die casting is the minimize tool wear and
understand the capabilities of most popular casting process. Few materials provide the Bushing and wear inserts in machining costs.
zinc casting alloys for product Zinc alloys can also be strength and toughness of zinc component designs can often be
applications. economically gravity cast for alloys. Impact resistance is eliminated because of zinc’s Low Energy Costs:
lower volumes using sand, significantly higher than cast excellent bearing properties. For
ADVANTAGES permanent mold, graphite mold aluminium alloys, plastics, and example, zinc alloys have Because of their low melting
and plaster casting technology. grey cast iron. outperformed bronze in heavy temperature, zinc alloys require
Zinc casting alloys are versatile duty industrial applications. less energy to melt and cast
engineering materials. No other Precision Tolerances: Rigidity: versus other engineering alloys.
alloy system provides the Easy Finishing:
combination of strength, Zinc alloys are castable to closer Zinc alloys have the rigidity of Long Tool Life:
toughness, rigidity, bearing tolerances than other metals or metals with modulus of elasticity Zinc castings are readily
performance and economical molded plastics, therefore characteristics equivalent to polished, plated, painted, Low casting temperatures result
castability. Listed are zinc alloy presenting the opportunity to other die castable materials. chromated or anodized for in less thermal shock and,
attributes which can reduce reduce or eliminate machining. Stiffness properties are, decorative and/or functional therefore, extended life for die
component costs. Improving “Net Shape” or “Zero Machining” therefore, far superior to service. casting tools. For example,
precision, quality and product manufacturing is a major engineering plastics. tooling life can be more than 10
performance are other zinc advantage of zinc casting. Thin Wall Castability: times that of aluminum dies.
alloy design advantages Anti-Sparking:
discussed in this brochure. Strength & Ductility: High casting fluidity, regardless Clean and Recyclable:
Zinc alloys are non-sparking and of casting process, allows for
Process Flexibility: Zinc alloys offer high strengths suitable for hazardous location thinner wall sections to be cast Zinc alloys are among the
(to 60,000 psi) and superior applications such as coal mines, in zinc compared to other metal. cleanest melting materials
Virtually any casting process elongation for strong designs tankers and refineries. available. Zinc metal is non-toxic,
can be used with zinc alloys to and formability for bending, Machinability: and scrap items are a reusable
satisfy virtually any quantity and crimping and riveting operations. resource which are efficiently
Fast, trouble-free machining recycled.

ZINC ALLOYS
There are two basic families of NO. 3 readily plated, finished and reduced impact performance (to alloy for sand, permanent mold
zinc casting alloys: ZAMAK machined, comparable to No. 3 levels similar to aluminum and the new graphite mold
alloys and ZA alloys. The No. 3 alloy is usually the first alloy. alloys) for die cast products. casting process. It is also a good
ZAMAK alloys were developed choice when considering zinc for pressure die casting alloy (cold
for pressure die casting during die casting. Its excellent balance NO. 7 Although No. 2 alloy exhibits chamber) which provides a
the 1920's and have seen of desirable physical and excellent castability, it has seen sounder structure than ZA-27, as
widespread usage since then. It mechanical properties, superb No. 7 alloy is a modification of limited use by die casters in well as higher die cast elongation
is for this reason that specifiers castability and longterm No. 3 alloy. Lower magnesium North America. It does, however, and impact properties. For these
often relate zinc as dimensional stability are the content and tighter impurities provide some interesting reasons, die cast ZA-12 often
synonymous with die casting. reasons why over 70% of all specification result in improved characteristics which may assist competes with ZA-27 for strength
However, the development of North American zinc die castings casting fluidity, ductility and designers. Its creep application. An excellent bearing
the ZA (Zinc-Aluminum) alloys are in No. 3 alloy. It is, therefore, surface finish. Most No. 7 is performance is rated higher than alloy, ZA-12 is also platable,
during the 1970's have radically the most widely available alloy used for special hardware the other ZAMAKS and No. 2 although plating adhesion is
changed zinc's product design from die casting sources. applications, or when castings maintains higher strength and reduced compared to the ZAMAK
and manufacturing capabilities. ZAMAK No. 3 also offers require extra formability during hardness levels after long term alloys.
excellent finishing characteristics assembly operations. aging. Also, preliminary
ZA alloys were initially for plating, painting and investigations suggest No. 2 ZA-27
developed for gravity casting. chromate treatments. It is the Higher fluidity is sometimes alloy is a good bearing material,
Their mechanical properties "standard" by which other zinc desirable, however, it does and may eliminate bushings and ZA-27 is the high strength
compete directly with bronze, alloys are rated in terms of die present special casting wear inserts in die cast designs. performer of the zinc alloys
cast iron and aluminum using casting. considerations. No. 7 alloy whether for gravity or pressure
sand, permanent mold and requires good die fit, casting ZA-8 die casting (cold chamber). It is
plaster mold casting methods. NO. 5 temperature and machine also the lightest alloy and offers
Distinguishing features of the control to avoid excessive A good gravity casting ahoy, ZA- excellent bearing and wear
ZA alloys are their high No. 5 alloy castings are flashing along parting lines. 8 is rapidly growing for pressure resistance properties. ZA-27,
aluminum content and excellent marginally stronger and harder Because of high ductility, flash die casting. ZA-8 can be hot however, requires care during
bearing properties. than No. 3. However, these break-off in vibratory and chamber die cast, with improved melting and casting to assure
improvements are tempered with automated deburring equipment strength, hardness and creep sound internal structure,
During the 1980's, ZA alloys a reduction in ductility which can is more difficult. Also, better fits properties over ZAMAKS, with particularly for heavy wall
evolved as valuable die casting affect formability during on trim dies may be required to the exception of a No. 2 alloy sections. It may also need a
materials. It is important to note secondary bending, riveting, obtain a clean trim. which is very similar in stabilization heat treatment when
that when considering a ZA swaging or crimping operations. performance. ZA-8 is readily tight dimensional tolerances are
alloy for die casting, only ZA-8 No. 5 contains an addition of 1% NO. 2 plated and finished using required. ZA-27 is not
can be hot chamber die cast. copper which accounts for these standard procedures for recommended for plating.
Hot chamber casting (which the property changes. The alloy is No. 2 is the only ZAMAK alloy ZAMAKS. When the However, when brute strength or
ZAMAK alloys employ) is highly widely die cast in Europe and which is used for gravity casting; performance of standard No. 3 wear resistant properties are
automated and the most does exhibit excellent castability mainly for metal forming dies or or No. 5 is in question, ZA-8 is needed, ZA-27 has demonstrated
efficient die casting process. characteristics, as well as, plastic injection tools. This alloy often the die casting choice extraordinary performance.
ZA-12 and ZA-27 require improved creep performance is sometimes referred to as because of high strength and
special melting procedures and over No. 3. KIRKSITE. creep properties and efficient hot
must be die cast like aluminum chamber castability.
using the less efficient cold Because of No. 3's wide For die casting, No. 2 offers the
chamber die casting process. availability, material specifiers highest ' strength and hardness ZA- 12
often strengthen components by of the ZAMAK family. However,
A brief description of each alloy design modifications instead of its high copper content (3%) ZA-12 is the most versatile zinc
is provided. The ZAMAK alloy using No. 5. However, when an results in property changes upon alloy in terms of combining high
family is identified by its extra measure of tensile long term aging. These changes performance properties and
numbers 3, 5, 7, & 2. ZA alloys performance is needed, No. 5 include slight dimensional ease of fabrication using either
consist of ZA-8, ZA-12 and ZA- alloy castings are growth (0.0014 in/in/after 20 gravity or pressure die casting.
27. recommended. The alloy is yrs.), lower elongation and ZA-12 is the best gravity casting