Die Cast Tooling

Die cast tooling called insert die, die casting dies, or die casting molds, comes in many styles, sizes, and values. Die cast tooling comes in single cavities (one part each cycle) or multiple cavities (more than one part each cycle). Kinetic Die Casting only uses cold chamber die casting machine tooling dies or molds for aluminum die cast parts. Die cast tooling costs from as little as a few hundred dollars for trim dies, a few thousand for cavity inserts, to several thousand dollars for a large part complete die cast die tool package.

Die cast tooling comes in various forms:
1. Die Cast Tooling Inserts
2. Prototype Die Cast Tooling Inserts
3. Unit Die Tooling
4. Complete Class "A" Die Cast Die or Mold Tooling
5. Die Cast Family Mold Tooling
6. Trim Dies for Die Cast Parts

Trim Die - Cuts the excess aluminum around die castings fast to save the customer money.
Slides - To accomodate undercuts in a die cast part.
Interchangeable cores - To make the different size holes in the die cast parts.
Waterlines - To increase the production cycles each hour.
Vents - To allow the gasses to escape from the die cast die.
Overflows - To regulate the temperature in the die cast dies.
Ejector Pins - Required to push the die cast part out of the mold.
Draft - Required angle perpendicular to the parting plane to allow the die cast parts to eject.

Die Casting Tooling Inserts

Die cast tooling inserts are the least expensive form of die cast tooling. The high pressure die cast tooling inserts are usually nothing more than enough steel to produce the cavities and a little extra to accomodate the temperature fluctuations of the molten metal injecting under force. These inserts require heat treating to the proper hardness to extend tooling life. If the cavity inserts are too hard, they will fail from the high temperature of the molten metal and crack the steel. If the cavity inserts are too soft, they will damage easily and wear away too easily from erosion of the molten metal injecting under force.

Sometimes, a die casting toolmaker (because of lack of experience or because they are not following the American Die Casting Standards) will not use enough steel in the die cast insert, and it reduces the potential life (number of parts possible) of the inserts. Kinetic Die Casting knows and understands what is necessary to extend the life of die cast die or mold toolings for aluminum.

Prototype Die Casting Tooling Inserts

All the same information as the die casting tooling insert, except the tool is made of a lower grade of steel and is not heat treated.

This tool will make a few thousand parts depending on the size and weight of the die cast parts.

This prototype tool insert is used to inexpensivly test a design and is a little less expensive than a hardened cavity insert and takes less time to produce.

One of the bigger difficulties of this tool is that it is damaged more easily and cannot be modified as easily as a hardened steel insert.

Die Casting Unit Die Tooling

Unit die tooling is usually larger than die cast tooling inserts and typically smaller than a complete mold. Unit die tooling uses less steel than a complete mold, but more steel than a die casting insert. Unit die tooling requires a master unit holder that sits in the die casting machine. Kinetic Die Casting has "master unit holders" in various sizes to accomodate different sized unit dies.

Unit dies will set into a die casting machine faster and more easily than any other form of tooling. Die casting part size and weight are the biggest limitations to whether a unit die tool is appropriate for your die cast part.

Complete Class "A" Die Casting Die or Mold Tooling

Complete die cast tooling is the easiest method to get more than 100,000 parts from the life of the mold or die cast die tool. Complete die cast tooling will fit directly into a die casting machine without the need for a separate mold base, die or insert holder, or master holder. It takes more time than unit die tooling to set this type of die into a die casting machine, but this type of die will generally produce better quality parts and get more die life.

Complete die cast die or die cast molds will also more likely have waterlines to speed up the cycle time of production, saving the customer's money.

Complete dies will frequently include a trim die that will speed up the production process and save as much as 15% on the part price.

Complete die cast dies are also easier to maintain and store than other forms of die cast tooling.

Finally, a complete die cast tooling package is directly transferable to another die casting company, frequently without any costly tooling modifications.

Die Casting Family Mold Tooling

Family die cast mold tooling is usually built to save money on multiple part types. Family die cast mold tooling consists of a complete die cast mold or die with a few or many different cavity die inserts that run as a single part each cycle or more parts each cycle.

It is the least loved of all die cast tooling types because the family die cast mold tool needs to be removed from the die casting machine completely to change cavity inserts for the next part. This takes time and costs the customer more money because of machine downtime.

Sometimes the family die cast mold tool will have multiple cavities of different sized parts. This will cause problems if the tool is not properly produced.

The quality of parts from a family die cast mold tool varies with the complexity of the parts. With multiple cavities of varying part types, it is difficult to balance the part quantities in sets.

Trim Dies for Die Casting Parts

Die casting trim dies can save as much as 15% in the part price by speeding up the production process.
Die casting trim dies cut or shear excess aluminum from die cast parts. The trim die sits or is mounted into a trim press that hydraulically forces the two halves of the trim die together with several tons of pressure.
Trim dies are not expensive if the production quantity of your die cast parts is greater than a few thousand parts.
Trim dies have a life equal to or greater than die cast dies.