Pushing the limits of die casting for lighter products
There is a keen interest in lightweight components in several industries. In the TINA project, Swerea has demonstrated the possibility of reducing the weight of die-cast components by just over 30 per cent by minimising the thickness of the material.
When approaching the limits of what it is possible to produce, the demands on both the designer and foundry increase, and require control of the very details of the process. Husqvarna, Getrag Ford Transmissions, Ages Casting Unnaryd and GKN Driveline participated in a project to virtually explore the possibilities of reducing component weight by reducing the thickness of the material.
Guided by virtual method
Three components were selected: a transmission cap, a timing gear cover and a flywheel.
“Thin-walled materials are important for the automotive industry to reduce weight, environmental impact and cost, which are three key factors constantly in demand,” says Niklas Lindh, Design engineer at Getrag Ford Transmissions Magna Powertrain.
30 % lighter with thin casting
The project demonstrated the possibility of reducing the weight by just over 30 per cent on the selected components. It also highlighted the challenges following the increased importance of process parameters, metal quality, component geometry etcetera, when balancing on the limit to what it is possible to cast.
“For us it is important to continuously invest in projects that contribute to increased customer value. With more thin-walled materials, design freedoms are increased and it is possible to construct lighter and more efficient components,” says Johan Lindblad, R&D Manager, Global Components, Handheld Petrols, Husqvarna AB.
The project was funded through the strategic Lightweight Innovation Programme jointly run by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Formas.