Die Lubricants Tailored to Increase Casting Productivity

Die casters know that it is not possible to produce without the use of die lubricants (release agents). However, many die casters are unaware that highly engineered die lubricants exist that can be tailored to actually enhance their processes, allowing them to gain additional efficiency. Die lubricants can be engineered to optimize wetting and spreading times, promote metal flow, quickly cool die surfaces and maintain a die temperature within a narrow band, all of which allow for faster cycle times and longer die life.

Chem-Trend has been developing tailored solutions for die casters around the globe for over 50 years. Our industry experts know the field of high pressure die casting, working side-by-side with our customers on their shop floors to understand their specific process parameters and challenges. We have developed innovative die lubricants that allow die casters to produce more parts in less time at higher quality and lower per piece cost.

To learn more about how your operation can benefit from our extensive die casting knowledge, advanced products and exceptional customer support, contact us now or explore the expanded content below.

Overcoming Process Challenges through Die Lubricant Selection

The primary function of a die lubricant is to facilitate the efficient production of high quality castings. From a lubrication perspective, anything that prevents the easy release of the casting from the die, or negatively affects the quality of the casting, is a problem. Through our long associations within the Die Cast industry, including our work as far back as the late ‘60s when we were recognized for our leadership by the Die Casting Research Foundation, and our years of shop floor experience, we have developed an extensive knowledge of, and solutions for, the problems you face in your die cast operations.

We have extensive process knowledge and are experienced in developing specialized die lubricants (release agents) that allow us to support you in addressing common problems such as:

  • Soldering
  • Porosity
  • In-Cavity Buildup/Carbon
  • Cold Shut
  • Fish Eye

Problems such as these can lead to significant inefficiencies in your operation and cost you a lot of money in rework, scrap and wasted resources. Chem-Trend has the knowledge and experience to provide your operation with solutions tailored to overcome these problems. Call us today to discuss how we can help you, send in a contact form or read the additional content below where we expand on the specifics of each of the above-mentioned die casting challenges.

Die Lubricants that Support the Sustainability of Die Casting

Minimizing the environmental impact in the work place and in the effluent stream has been of major importance to die casters around the world. It is now becoming of greater importance to both the direct and end customers of die caster’s products as well.

The use of dilution water generates a considerable volume of liquid waste. To tackle this problem, Chem-Trend has a range of dry powder die lubricants that can be applied electrostatically or pneumatically to the die surface. Upon contact with the hot surface, these materials melt and flow across the surface providing a thin and uniform protective layer. Powder die lubricants do not create a thermal shock to the die surface, thus minimizing fatigue and extending tool life.

For applications with very fast cycle times and low die temperatures, Chem-Trend offers a number of solvent-based die lubricants as well. Designed to function very efficiently, the small application rates and low operating temperatures of these materials minimize the risk of flammability while providing clean, bright castings.

Increased dilution ratios and lessened environmental impact have been key areas of product development and improvement at Chem-Trend over the past decade. Recent innovations include products that can operate with extremely high die temperatures and products that drastically reduce the overspray buildup on the die. These advances in die lubricant technology significantly improve productivity in die casting operations.

With our many years of experience addressing the HSE aspects of die casting operations we are confident that we can help your operation as well. Why not send us a contact form or call us and talk to one of our experts?

Advanced Die Lubricant Technology Inhibits Soldering

Soldering on the dieSoldering is caused by the reaction of the molten alloy with the tool steel. Soldering is accelerated by high temperature and erosion and is commonly seen in those areas of the die where such conditions are present. Soldering can be prevented or minimized by forming a barrier coating between the molten metal and the tool steel. Certain alloys are more susceptible to soldering. Experts at Chem-Trend’s dedicated Die Cast Laboratory developed advanced technology that makes a wide variety of die lubricants function optimally at different temperature ranges and alloys. Chem-Trend’s proprietary polymers provide exceptional performance at high temperatures, while silicone-free options are available for cooler die surfaces.

To learn more about how our die lubricants and exceptional customer support can help you overcome your soldering issues contact us now.

Fighting Porosity Defects with Specialized Die Lubricants

Porosity is one of the biggest problems in die casting. The presence of small pores within the cross section of a casting can adversely affect the strength of the component.

There are two main types of porosity, namely gas porosity and shrinkage porosity. Chem-Trend’s unique chemistries combined with our extensive knowledge of the high pressure die cast process allow us to provide our customers with deep insights on how they can eliminate either type of porosity.

Gas porosity is a consequence of the very high velocities at which the metal is injected into the mold. However, it can also be aggravated by the presence of water on the die and the decomposition of any organic compounds within the die or the shot sleeve. Chem-Trend’s products are designed to minimize any direct contribution to gas porosity.

Gas porosity die casting defects Shrinkage porosity die casting defects

Gas porosity defects

Shrinkage porosity defects

Overspray on the dieThe potential for gas porosity can be also decreased by selecting a die lubricant that impacts the effectiveness of the vents.  Die lubricants are usually sprayed into the die cavity, but with any spray set-up, a certain portion of the spray will end up outside the target area such as in the vents.

This is usually referred to as overspray, and as the water evaporates a film of lubricant can be formed in the vents. Unlike the film in the cavity, this film is not completely removed when the castings are extracted and, over time, can restrict the flow path of the escaping gases. Chem-Trend has developed die lubricants that specifically minimize the amount of over-spray that is generated, thus further improving the quality of castings.

Shrinkage porosity occurs because most cast metals have a slightly lower density in the liquid state than in the solid state. This means that, as the metal solidifies, it will occupy less volume.

Unfortunately, when a casting has many different cross-sections, a “hot spot” can develop whereby a portion of the casting will remain liquid after all the other parts have solidified. This “hot spot” will create a shrinkage pore when the liquid in that area finally solidifies. Chem-Trend die lubricants can help address this problem through their ability to aid in the management of cooling characteristics which can control the incidence of hot spots.

To learn more about how your operation can overcome its problems with porosity by leveraging our exceptional die casting knowledge, advanced products and exceptional customer support, contact us.

Die Lubricants to Deter In-Cavity Buildup or Carbon

The presence of dark extraneous material within the die cavity is referred to as “carbon” or in-cavity buildup. This is very different from solder in that it is not bonded to the metal, but rather is a layer on the surface that can be removed without having to chemically dissolve the alloy. When a die lubricant is sprayed onto the die, the water evaporates leaving behind a thin film of die lubricant that provides release and prevents solder. Usually this film is removed when the casting is ejected. In some cases – especially when the die is running under its designed temperature – this lube film does not get completely removed and it gradually builds up within the cavity. The best way to correct this is to reduce the amount of die lubricant being applied. However, since the local temperatures on different parts of a complex die can be quite different, reducing the lubricant spray quantity to eliminate buildup may result in solder. Chem-Trend die lubricants offer superior balance between high temperature and low temperature film formation, providing more uniform protection and mitigating this problem.

Carbon or in-cavity build-upA common cause of in-cavity buildup is the dilution water. Generally, softened water is recommended for diluting die lubricants. If hard water is used, the dissolved calcium and magnesium salts will precipitate when the water evaporates. These materials are not decomposed by molten metal and can build up within the cavity. Chemical analysis of the residue from within the cavity will almost always show the presence of die lubricant components, but the presence of hardness salts will identify the dilution water as being the root cause. Upsets in the water softening system can lead to hardness deposits in the die cavity.

Spray head residue on die cast machineIf your operation is experiencing problems with in-cavity buildup or with carbon, contact us and see what our exceptional die casting knowledge, advanced products and first-class customer support can do to help address the situation and allow you to run more efficiently.

Avoiding Cold Shut through Proper Die Lubricant Selection

"Cold shut" defect on die cast partOccasionally, castings may show dark lines on the surface that appear to conform to the flow path of the molten metal. This is particularly true in magnesium alloys and in very thin sections. In extreme cases, the casting may not fill completely. In other instances, the surface of the casting may show what looks like a crack but in actuality is two layers of metal solidifying on top of each other. This is sometimes referred to as “cold shut.” This is an indication that solidification of the casting has begun before the die cavity has been completely filled, which could be due to low mold temperatures, low melt temperatures or excessive cooling. Chem-Trend die lubricants are engineered to regulate the rate of heat transfer to the die and thus have been very successful in averting fill problems in castings.

To learn more about how to overcome cold shut problems in your casting operations, call us to speak with one of our die cast experts or send in a contact form today.

Die Lubricants Developed to Avoid Fish Eye

Example of "fish eye" paint defectA common concern about die lubricants is their effect on operations like painting, plating or gluing that are carried out on the castings. As release agents are designed to prevent adhesion between the casting and the die surface, they can interfere with paint adhesion or plating, resulting in a “fish eye” defect, if they are not properly removed by the cleaning process. Chem-Trend’s release agents are readily cleaned by the alkaline washes typically used before a painting or plating process.

To learn more about avoiding fish eye in your post-casting processes, send in a contact form or call us to speak with one of our die cast experts today.

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Case Study:

  • Improved Productivity through Product Innovation

    Learn how Chem-Trend’s innovations in release technology perform, bringing about productivity gains for our customers.

    View The PDF

Common Questions:

  • How can we control the dilution ratio of die lubricants?

    The dilution ratio of die lubricants can be checked by using a LaMotte meter.

    More FAQs