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Title: Energy Saving Melting and Revert Reduction Technology: Improved Die Casting Process to Preserve the Life of the Inserts

The goal of this project was to study the combined effects of die design, proper internal cooling and efficient die lubricants on die life. The project targeted improvements in die casting insert life by: Optomized Die Design for Reduced Surface Temperature: The life of die casting dies is significantly shorter when the die is exposed to elevated temperature for significant periods of time. Any die operated under conditions leading to surface temperature in excess of 1050oF undergoes structural changes that reduce its strength. Optimized die design can improve die life significantly. This improvement can be accomplished by means of cooling lines, baffles and bubblers in the die. A key objective of the project was to establish criteria for the minimal distance of the cooling lines from the surface. This effort was supported with alloys and machining by BohlerUddeholm, Dunn Steel, HH Stark and Rex Buckeye. In plant testing and evaluation was conducted as in-kind cost share at St. Clair Die Casting. The Uddeholm Dievar steel evaluated in this program showed superior resistance to thermal fatigue resistance. Based on the experimental evidence, cooling lines could be placed as close as 0.5" from the surface. Die Life Extension by Optimized Die Lubrication: The life of die more » casting dies is affected by additions made to its surface with the proper lubricants. These lubricants will protect the surface from the considerable temperature peaks that occur when the molten melt enters the die. Dies will reach a significantly higher temperature without this lubricant being applied. The amount and type of the lubricant are critical variables in the die casting process. However, these lubricants must not corrode the die surface. This effort was supported with alloys and machining by BohlerUddeholm, Dunn Steel, HH Stark and Rex Buckeye. In plant testing and evaluation was conducted as in-kind cost share at St. Clair Die Casting. Chem- Trend participated in the program with die lubricants and technical support. Experiments conducted with these lubricants demonstrated good protection of the substrate steel. Graphite and boron nitride used as benchmarks are capable of completely eliminating soldering and washout. However, because of cost and environmental considerations these materials are not widely used in industry. The best water-based die lubricants evaluated in this program were capable of providing similar protection from soldering and washout. In addition to improved part quality and higher production rates, improving die casting processes to preserve the life of the inserts will result in energy savings and a reduction in environmental wastes. Improving die life by means of optimized cooling line placement, baffles and bubblers in the die will allow for reduced die temperatures during processing, saving energy associated with production. The utilization of optimized die lubricants will also reduce heat requirements in addition to reducing waste associated with soldering and washout. This new technology was predicted to result in an average energy savings of 1.1 trillion BTU's/year over a 10 year period. Current (2012) annual energy saving estimates, based on commercial introduction in 2010, a market penetration of 70% by 2020 is 1.26 trillion BTU's/year. Along with these energy savings, reduction of scrap and improvement in casting yield will result in a reduction of the environmental emissions associated with the melting and pouring of the metal which will be saved as a result of this technology. The average annual estimate of CO2 reduction per year through 2020 is 0.025 Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalent (MM TCE). « less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Advanced Technology Institute
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE EE Office of Technology Development (EE-20)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION metalcasting; die casting; aluminum; dies; die lifeinternal die cooling; die lubricants