Titanium Matrix Composite Tooling Material for Enhanced Manufacture of Aluminum Die Castings (Inventions and Innovation)
In the aluminum die-casting process, shot sleeves force molten aluminum into a die for casting. The shot sleeve is filled with molten aluminum either by a manual or an automated ladle. The material is then forced into the die by a plunger or piston. The conventional material of choice for fabrication of shot sleeves and other aluminum die-casting components is H-13 steel. However, the conventional H-13 shot sleeve technology wears out after 20,000 to 40,000 casting cycles, due primarily to hot corrosion which washes out the bottom of the sleeve. Additionally, the conventional technology requires a die lubricant, a major source of environmental waste.
A new technology, CermeTi ® , is a titanium-alloy composite material. This material can be implemented in the form of an entire shot sleeve or a partial liner inserted into an existing H-13 shot sleeve. This new technology has demonstrated significant advantages over the conventional technology in preliminary testing, especially in its resistance to thermal loading and hot corrosion. The result is an extended useful life for the shot sleeve, reducing downtime and improving product quality.