Experimental Investigation Into the Thermal Behavior of Copper-Alloyed Dies in Pressure Die Casting

[+] Author and Article Information
L. D. Clark, M. T. Alonso Rasgado, K. Davey, S. Hinduja

School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD, UK

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 128(4), 844-859 (Feb 03, 2006) (16 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2280586 History: Received September 09, 2003; Revised February 03, 2006

The rate of heat extraction during the pressure die casting process is central to both the quality and the cost of finished castings. Recent efforts to reduce the thermal resistance of dies by optimizing the effectiveness of the cooling channels have shown the potential for improvement. Reducing the thermal resistance of the coolant boundary layer means that a significant proportion of the total thermal resistance becomes attributable to the die steel. Further significant reductions in die thermal resistance can be obtained by replacing the steel with copper. This paper investigates the feasibility of using copper dies, reinforced with steel inserts and coated with a thin layer of wear resistant material, which is deposited using the thermal arc spray process. Experimental work relating to the thermal spray process has been undertaken to establish bond strengths and thermal conductivities for various process parameters. Moreover, experimental investigations have been carried out using two copper coated dies, the first of which was a pseudodie block heated by an infrared heater. The second die was tested on a die casting machine and produced zinc alloy castings at a greatly increased production rate when compared to its steel counterpart. The experimental results from the two dies are compared with those predicted by an in-house thermal-cum-stress model based on the boundary element method. Reasonable agreement between the predicted and experimental results is shown and the feasibility of copper-alloyed dies for pressure die casting is established.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Thermal resistance path of three types of die

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Figure 2

Tensile adhesion test

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Figure 3

Thermal conductivity rig (shown with top insulation removed)

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Figure 4

Casting simulation rig

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Figure 6

Copper die block assembly

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Figure 7

Copper die block

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Figure 8

Thermocouple arrangement

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Figure 9

Typical load/displacement graphs

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Figure 10

Strength/coating thickness graphs using 95MXC on 10T and 11T bonding spray

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Figure 11

Schematic of 1D conductivity rig and thermocouple results for 95MXC samples

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Figure 12

Measured and predicted temperatures on pseudodie block

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Figure 13

Error of model predictions for the cavity wall of the pseudodie running in steady state mode

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Figure 14

Cyclic temperatures for steel and copper pseudodie blocks (30cpm)

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Figure 15

Cyclic temperatures for copper pseudodie block (6cpm)

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Figure 16

Mean cyclic temperatures

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Figure 17

Steel runner insert

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Figure 18

Cavity damage after casting

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Figure 19

Casting defects

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Figure 20

Porosity in the spray coating

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Figure 21

Measured and predicted temperatures on stepped die

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Figure 22

Error of model predictions for the right hand die block of the stepped die

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Figure 23

Error of model predictions on the surface of the stepped casting

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Figure 24

Comparison of steel and copper die temperatures

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Figure 25

Strain gauge positions

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Figure 26

Predicted and experimental stress values on the pseudodie block



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