Aircraft Die Casting
Aluminum – the alloy of choice for aircraft die casting
The commercial aircraft industry could not exist were it not for aluminum die casting parts. The Boeing 747 contains 75 tons of aluminum and the new Airbus A380 utilizes some 66% aluminum in its air-frame.
The aluminum die casting process provides many benefits to the aircraft die casting industry. Aluminum is extremely lightweight and provides tremendous dimensional stability, even when used in complex shapes. Aluminum parts can be manufactured with thinner walls, further reducing the overall weight of an aircraft. Aluminum aircraft parts improve speed and mobility and reduce fuel consumption. Equally as important, aluminum die cast parts provide exceptional strength and durability, and can resist the expansion stresses and torsion placed upon an aircraft flying thousands of feet high at speeds greater than Mach 4.
Aluminum die casting parts are widely used in aircraft because of the multitude of advantages – and relative few disadvantages – they provide. There are several important factors to consider when choosing the right aircraft parts, including durability, strength, safety, reliability, weight and electrical conductivity. Aluminum die castings deliver in all these areas, which is why aluminum has become the alloy of choice for the Aircraft industry.
Aluminum is highly durable and can be dented or punctured while still maintaining its integrity. This is a valuable quality, particularly in the frame or skeleton of a jet aircraft. Unlike composite materials, aluminum can handle a great deal punishment before it fails. Plus, exotic composite materials often require immediate and costly repair when damaged, which is not always possible. Conversely, a plane made of entirely of aluminum can be serviced and repaired almost anywhere.
Aluminum die casting is a versatile process that can produce simple as well as complicated parts. Northwest Die Casting has the ability to produce hundreds of parts within minutes, which is efficient for large scale production. The strength of aluminum is increased by high pressure casting, which creates yield of 70%.