Finding information on die-cast part design just became a whole lot easier, thanks to a new online version of the product specification guide published by the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA).
The association formerly made the guide available on CD-ROM and in print for respective prices of $100 and $120. But the online version is free to all who register on the association's website http://rbi.ims.ca/4924-579. "The guide is already widely used by those who know die casting, but now we've made it available to anyone who wants to design die-cast parts" says Steve Udvardy, NADCA's director of research, education and technology.
Think of the guide as the Bible of die-casting specifications. "Many die casters refer to it every day," says Udvardy, who adds the guide helps them interpret all the engineering drawing callouts specific to die casting.
But it's more than just a way to look up callout info. The guide also contains all kinds of useful information for design engineers, some of it brand new. For instance, the guide now contains more information on shrink and mechanical properties of common die-casting alloys at elevated temperatures. "In the past, we just had room temperature properties," Udvardy notes.
Impact at elevated temperatures is one key property the association has included in this version of the guide. Currently it's available only for AL 380, one of the most common aluminum alloys. Tensile properties at elevated temperatures have been included for various aluminum and zinc alloys. Udvardy says more magnesium data is in the works.
The guide may also offer some help for engineers confused by the myriad of ways to refer to various die-casting alloys. "We've included more cross-referencing than ever," says Udvardy. One table, for instance, gives global equivalents of die-casting alloys, right down to the exact chemistry of the metals.
Another cross-reference chart addresses the fact that the nomenclature for die-casting specs has changed over the years. "This chart can be really helpful for engineers dealing with older drawings or legacy parts," Udvardy says.
And there's plenty more helpful information that's either new to the guide or added over the past two revisions. Among them are a section devoted to a die-cast tooling, a series of design checklists, property comparisons to other metal processes, and examples of successful die-cast components.
For more information on die casting, visit NADCA's other online resources at http://rbi.ims.ca/4924-580.
Reach Senior Editor Joe Ogando at Jogando@reedbusiness.com.