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What is Squeeze Casting and How Does it Work?

Squeeze casting is becoming more and more popular in the market due to its unique advantages. In this paper, we will elaborate on the definition, materials, types, advantages, applications, etc. of squeeze casting.
aluminum squeeze casting manufacturer

What is squeeze casting?

Squeeze casting, also known as liquid forging/liquid die forging/liquid metal forging, is a metal forming process that combines casting and forging. It can produce a variety of near-net shape parts as efficiently as die casting, while allowing squeeze castings to have the high performance of forgings. Because of this unique advantage, squeeze casting is becoming more and more popular in the market and is used to cast thick-walled, heat-treatable, precision, high-strength, high-airtight, and high-wear-resistant parts for different industries.

How many types of squeeze casting?

According to the method of pressure transfer squeeze casting process is divided into two main types: direct squeeze casting and indirect squeeze casting.

Direct squeeze casting

In direct squeeze casting, the punch “directly” squeeze the liquid metal in the mold, so that the liquid metal flows upward to fill the closed cavity formed by the concave mold and punch, and then continue to increase pressure and maintain pressure until the casting is completely solidified. Direct squeeze casting has no pouring system and the castings obtained have denser grains and higher properties. However, this process has a major limitation – it is only suitable for producing simple shaped parts and therefore has not been well spread.

direct squeeze casting

Indirect squeeze casting

In indirect squeeze casting, the liquid metal is poured into an injection sleeve and then fills a closed mold cavity at a very low velocity (usually less than 0.5 m/s), which helps to reduce entrained air. High pressure is applied “indirectly” through the pouring system and maintained for a period of time, allowing the molten metal to solidify under high pressure and forcing the elimination of any shrinkage or porosity that may have occurred in the process, resulting in parts that are free of casting defects. Indirect squeeze casting is more widely used than direct squeeze casting because of its ability to produce high performance and complex shapes.

indirect squeeze casting

What are the materials used in squeeze casting?

There are many types of squeeze casting materials (ferrous and non-ferrous), including aluminum alloys, zinc alloys, copper alloys, magnesium alloys, grey cast iron, ductile iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, and so on. All of these materials can be used for direct squeeze casting. However, in actual production, indirect squeeze casting is more widely used. In indirect squeeze casting, the most commonly used material is aluminum alloy.

The materials for aluminum squeeze casting are various die-cast aluminum alloys, such as A356, ZL101, AlSi8Cu3, AlSi10Mg, etc. Aluminum squeeze casting can make precise, high-performance, heat-treatable parts, and is often called the best aluminum casting process, so it is widely used in automotive, electric vehicle, motorcycle, aerospace, new energy, 5G communication, etc. SANON is a reliable aluminum squeeze casting manufacturer, contact them to get a better result for your aluminum parts.

Squeeze casting machine

Squeeze die casting machines are mainly divided into two types: horizontal squeeze casting machines (horizontal mold closing + vertical injection) and vertical squeeze casting machines (vertical mold closing + vertical injection). The molding methods are different, but they all use tilt pouring.

How does squeeze casting work?

  • Melting metal. This step is usually performed in a separate furnace. The temperatures required to heat different metals vary widely, ranging from 660°C (1220°F) to 3400°C (6152°F), depending on the metal used. ​
  • Pouring. In direct squeeze casting, molten metal is poured into a concave mold. In indirect squeeze casting, molten metal is poured into a chamber.
  • Filling and solidification. Close the mold, fill the cavity with molten metal through a punch (direct) or high pressure (indirect), and then continue to maintain pressure until the molten metal solidifies completely.
  • Ejection. After the solidification process is complete, the punch is withdrawn. The cast part is ejected, the mold is cleaned, and the melt is filled so that the process can be repeated if needed.

What are the advantages of squeeze casting?

  • Less shrinkage and low porosity. Squeeze casting can effectively reduce or even eliminate common casting defects such as shrinkage and porosity.
  • High density. The liquid metal is solidified and formed under high pressure, obtaining more refined and dense internal grains, thereby greatly increasing the density of the squeeze cast parts.
  • High performance. Squeeze casting parts have mechanical properties comparable to forgings, but the production efficiency of squeeze casting is much higher than that of forging.
  • High surface finish. Because squeeze casting eliminates defects such as pores and cracks, when you process the surface of the part, you will find that the surface of the squeeze casting is very smooth, just like the surface of CNC parts.
  • Precision molded. This mainly refers to indirect squeeze casting, because it can cast parts with complex structures like the die casting process, and the products have excellent precision.
  • Cost-Effective. If you not only want to have precision parts, but also want the parts to have better mechanical properties, sometimes you have to choose expensive forging or CNC machining. Now you have a better option and that is squeeze die casting.
  • Energy saving and emission reduction. Squeeze casting is a crucial process for achieving lightweighting. Many parts in automobiles, electric vehicles, motorcycles, aerospace and other industries will choose squeeze casting to achieve the dual purposes of high performance and weight reduction.

What are the limitations of squeeze casting?

  • High mold costs. The process of squeeze casting is very complex and has very high requirements on mold design, which leads to an increase in the number of processing steps for the mold and thus increases the manufacturing cost of the mold.
  • Not suitable for thin-walled parts. The most suitable wall thickness for the squeeze casting process is 4-40mm.
  • Quality stability needs to be improved. Although the theoretical research on squeeze casting has been carried out for decades, there is not much actual production, and the technology of some squeeze casting factories still needs to be improved. SANON is a reliable aluminum squeeze casting manufacturer. If you have related needs, you can contact them.

What are the applications of squeeze casting?

Squeeze casting is widely used in industrial production.

Automobile industry. Squeeze casting is used to produce automotive parts, such as body structural parts, engine parts, suspension system parts, etc. Squeeze casting can produce high-quality, high-precision parts and improve overall vehicle performance.

Aerospace. Squeeze casting is widely used in the production of key components such as aero-engine blades and aircraft structural parts. Squeeze casting can ensure the high strength and high temperature performance of parts and improve the safety and reliability of aircraft.

Parts and tools for machinery and equipment. For example, squeeze casting can produce high-strength, wear-resistant transmission shafts, gears, threads and various molds and other tool parts, improving the service life and performance of mechanical equipment.

In addition, squeeze casting is also widely used in motorcycles, construction, electronics, electricity, medical and other fields. 

Squeeze casting products

Below are some squeeze cast parts made by professional squeeze casting manufacturer SANON. Click to learn more!

Summary

This article introduces the definition, materials, advantages and applications of squeeze casting. If you want to know more about squeeze casting, please contact our professional team. Contact us now.

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Eric Zhou

Focus on providing squeeze casting, aluminum die casting(hpdc+lpdc), mold making, CNC machining, and sheet metal fabrication solutions. If you need help, please feel free to contact us!

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