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Zinc Alloy Die Casting Vs Aluminum Alloy Die Casting: What Are The Differences?

Views: 50     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-07      Origin: Site


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Die casting stands out as a preferred manufacturing method for intricate, high-precision parts produced at scale. It finds compatibility with various metals, with zinc, magnesium, and aluminum being popular options. Among these metals, aluminum and zinc die casting often draw comparisons in the manufacturing realm.

Each material possesses unique inherent properties, further enhanced through the die casting process. Therefore, gaining insights into die casting and its material implications is paramount. This article delves into a comparative analysis between aluminum and zinc die casting, providing comprehensive insights to guide informed decision-making in manufacturing processes.


Characteristics and Applications of Zinc Alloy and Aluminum Alloy Die Castings:

Zinc Alloy Die Casting Features:

Ideal for large-scale manufacturing operations, zinc alloy die casting offers several benefits. It reduces production expenses, ensures superior surface quality without additional treatments, and requires lower mold costs compared to aluminum alloys. With exceptional fluidity and robust mechanical strength, it guarantees precise product dimensions, even with minimum wall thicknesses as low as 0.5mm. Furthermore, zinc alloy die castings boast extended mold longevity. Widely adopted across industries, including 3C products, hardware, automotive, and bicycle components, zinc alloy die casting proves its versatility and reliability.

Aluminum Alloy Die Casting Features:

Aluminum alloys offer a multitude of benefits, including their lightweight composition, which is only a third of steel, and their robust strength achieved through diverse alloy additives, rolling, forging, and heat treatment processes. They boast corrosion resistance, excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, and environmental sustainability. Moreover, aluminum alloys remain resilient even in low-temperature environments, avoiding the brittleness associated with carbon steel. Widely utilized across industries, including electrical appliances, cooling systems, household hardware, food packaging, and transportation vehicles, aluminum alloys demonstrate their versatility and utility.

Zinc alloy 2#, distinguished among zinc alloys for its elevated hardness and strength, particularly stands out due to its heightened copper content, reaching 3%. This composition engenders noteworthy long-term property adjustments, including dimensional expansion at a rate of 0.0014 mm per mm over two decades, alongside diminished elongation and impact strength. When juxtaposed with zinc alloys 3# and 5#, zinc alloy 2# exhibits superior resistance to creep and wear, maintaining its robustness and hardness even as it ages. Furthermore, it finds utility in gravity casting applications, particularly for crafting metal molds or injection molding tools.


Zinc alloy remains a preferred material for die casting due to its ability to balance physical and mechanical properties effectively. Among die cast zinc alloy products, over 70% utilize 3# zinc alloy, renowned for its exceptional casting ability and dimensional stability. Notably, this alloy proves particularly suitable for electroplating, painting, and chromate treatments.

With a copper content bridging between zinc alloys 3# and 5#, zinc alloy 4# exhibits superior efficacy in mitigating specific casting defects while retaining comparable malleability.

Zinc alloy 5# surpasses 3# in hardness and strength but trades off some malleability, impacting processes like bending and rolling. The incorporation of 1% copper alters its properties, enhancing creep resistance and rendering it suitable for electroplating, machining, and general surface treatments.

Initially designed for gravity casting, zinc alloy 8# has found widespread adoption in high-pressure die casting. Offering elevated hardness, strength, and creep resistance compared to alloys 3# and 5#, it proves adept for electroplating and other surface treatments. Consequently, when the performance of alloys 3# and 5# falls short of requirements, alloy 8# emerges as a viable alternative due to its superior strength and creep resistance.

When comparing the functionality of aluminum alloy die-cast parts to zinc alloy die-cast parts, which one has better functionality?

Electroplating aluminum and aluminum alloy die-cast parts poses certain complexities despite its widespread use, particularly due to the material's inherent chemical properties and propensity for oxidation. Challenges such as adhesion and oxide film regeneration necessitate intricate processes for successful plating outcomes. In contrast, zinc alloy die-cast parts generally exhibit better electroplating functionality than their aluminum counterparts.

While aluminum alloys offer good ductility and find application in various industries, including aviation, automotive, and machinery manufacturing, their low strength limits their suitability for heavy-duty structural components. Conversely, zinc alloy die-cast parts often demonstrate superior electroplating capabilities.

Surface treatment processes for both zinc and aluminum alloy die-cast parts are diverse, with each method presenting its unique advantages and drawbacks. Continuous advancements in die-casting mold manufacturing and surface treatment techniques are underway worldwide to address existing challenges and drive innovation in the industry.


Zinc alloy die-cast parts are renowned for their exceptional casting capabilities, enabling the production of intricately shaped components with precise dimensions and smooth surface finishes. These alloys exhibit excellent mechanical properties at room temperature, coupled with remarkable wear resistance. With a relatively low melting point of approximately 385°C, zinc alloys are easily molten and cast without absorbing iron or causing mold corrosion, ensuring efficient manufacturing processes.

Compared to aluminum alloys, zinc alloys boast higher hardness and tensile strength, although the extent of these properties may vary depending on specific compositions. Typically comprising over 85% zinc, these alloys are complemented by additional alloying elements, enhancing their overall performance. Their versatility extends to weldability, solderability, and plastic processing, making them suitable for various fabrication methods.

Furthermore, zinc alloys demonstrate commendable corrosion resistance in dry air and atmospheric conditions, facilitating their widespread applicability across industries. They are also highly recyclable, presenting sustainable solutions for material reuse and remelting. However, it's essential to note that zinc alloys may exhibit lower creep strength and dimensional changes due to natural aging processes. Categorized into casting and deformation alloys based on production methods, casting alloys dominate the market in terms of production volume, reflecting their popularity and utility in diverse manufacturing applications.

Since their integration into the automotive sector in the 1940s, casting zinc alloys have witnessed exponential growth, constituting approximately 25% of total zinc consumption. Among the diverse alloy series utilized, the Zn-Al-Cu-Mg series stands out for its widespread application and notable benefits.

Aluminum plays a pivotal role in refining the grain structure of zinc alloys, augmenting their strength, impact toughness, and corrosion resistance. Additionally, it mitigates the adverse effects of molten zinc on iron containers, thereby facilitating efficient production in hot-chamber die-casting machines.

Copper serves to enhance the strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance of zinc alloys, albeit with the caveat that excessive copper content may compromise impact toughness and dimensional stability post-aging. To maintain optimal alloy properties, the copper content in die-cast zinc alloys typically does not exceed 1.25%, with recommendations to restrict it below 1% for large castings or applications demanding high dimensional precision.

Incorporating magnesium into die-cast zinc alloys offers corrosion reduction benefits while counteracting the detrimental effects of impurities like lead and tin. However, prudent control of magnesium content is essential, typically ranging between 0.01% and 0.08%, with an upper limit of 0.05% to avoid hot brittleness and casting challenges arising from excessive magnesium content.

Stringent regulations govern the impurity levels in die-cast zinc alloys due to their significant impact on performance. Limits are imposed on impurities like iron, lead, cadmium, and tin, with upper thresholds set at 0.005%, 0.004%, 0.003%, and 0.02%, respectively. Hence, utilizing high-purity zinc with a purity exceeding 99.99% is advisable for crafting zinc alloy materials via die-casting processes.

Gravity casting zinc alloys afford versatility in casting methods, encompassing sand molds, plaster molds, and hard molds. These alloys not only embody the intrinsic qualities of typical die-cast zinc alloys but also demonstrate exceptional attributes such as high strength, reliable casting performance, indifference to cooling rates concerning mechanical integrity, recyclability of scraps, straightforward gating procedures, resilience to overheating and remelting, minimal shrinkage, negligible porosity, electroplating compatibility, and compatibility with conventional finishing techniques.


Aluminum and zinc die-cast parts are renowned for their durability and strength, yet selecting between them necessitates a grasp of their inherent properties and the specific demands of the die-casting process. This article offers a comparative analysis between zinc and aluminum die-casting techniques, aiming to empower readers with the insights needed to make well-informed decisions regarding the selection of die-cast parts for their projects.

Common Questions

Are zinc die-cast parts stronger than aluminum counterparts?

Indeed, zinc die-cast parts boast greater strength compared to aluminum variants. Enthusiasts suggest that zinc alloys outshine many common non-ferrous alloys in terms of strength, with zinc die-cast parts exhibiting approximately 2.5 times the strength of aluminum counterparts.

Which material offers better corrosion resistance, zinc or aluminum?

In terms of corrosion resistance, zinc die-cast parts outperform aluminum counterparts. However, the extent of corrosion resistance depends on the pH level. Notably, in alkaline solutions with a pH of 11, the corrosion resistance of aluminum die-cast parts closely aligns with that of zinc counterparts.

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