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Diecasting competition 2018 showcases future-oriented solutions

International Aluminium Diecasting Awards 2018

GDA - Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie eV (German aluminium association), Düsseldorf, has awarded the winners of the International Aluminium Die Casting Competition 2018 as part of the EUROGUSS 2018 event in Nuremberg in January. Prizes were awarded by a jury of experts from research and practice to three castings from renowned manufacturers with a further three castings receiving special commendations.

The 8th International Aluminium Die Casting Competition is organised by the GDA. It was partnered by the Association of the German Foundry Industry (BDG), the Austrian Non-Ferrous Metals Federation of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Swiss Aluminium Association ‘alu.ch’ also supported the competition.

For many years, the Aluminium Diecasting Award has proven to be a successful platform for demonstrating the high quality standards of aluminium diecastings. The aim of the competition is to boost interest in aluminium, a versatile material, and to demonstrate further fields of application. Criteria for evaluating the castings, submitted to the Aluminium Die Casting Competition 2018, were the die cast conform and resource efficient construction.

A jury of experts from research and practice awarded six submissions – three cast pieces received prizes, three more ‘Special Commendations’.

The prize-winning castings were on display in Hall 6 at the EUROGUSS fair and they will also be displayed at the ALUMINIUM trade fair in Dusseldorf (9-11th October 2018).

1st Prize: Connection part CD
DGS Druckguss Systeme AG, St Gallen
Alloy: AISi10MnMgZnZr
Weight: 3,043g
Dimensions: l: 797mm x, w: 437mm x, h: 304mm

The first prize was awarded for the holistic approach adopted in obtaining a highly competitive cast structural component. It is a part that has established itself thanks to a weight saving of 19 per cent compared with a sheet-metal shell construction, the result of the part’s complex, load-path-optimised wall-thickness distribution and rib configuration. The need for higher specific strength was achieved by choosing a high-strength alloy with very good flow characteristics combined with a T6 temper. Very efficient temperature control together with a runner that is ideal from a flow technology point of view enables component wall thicknesses of 1.8-2mm to be achieved.

2nd Prize: Housing for high-voltage batteries, upper and lower part

Magna BDW technologies GmbH, Markt Schwaben
Alloy: EN AC-AISi10MnMg(Fe)-T7
Weight upper part: 7,270g

Weight lower part: 14,120g
Dimensions: l: 1,120mm x, w: 540mm x, h: 260mm

The second prize was awarded to a housing for high-voltage batteries for a plug-in hybrid vehicle that needs to satisfy the highest possible crash requirements. The geometry is achieved by using a very slider-intensive tooling concept and keeping the sealing surfaces free from ejectors. Particular mention should be given to the long flow length and the T7 heat treatment which results in relatively low distortion for a component of this size. An added benefit is that the part can be used without machining.

3rd Prize: Tank housing
Georg Fischer Druckguss GmbH, Herzogenburg

Alloy: EN AC-AISi10MnMg-T7
Weight: 10,900g
Dimensions: l: 980mm x, w: 626mm x, h: 236mm

The third prize goes to a crash-relevant component that opens up a new area of application for diecastings in hybrid vehicles. Aluminium diecasting offers cost savings and weight reduction. The award-winning component incorporates an extremely wide range of different functions and replaces a possible fabricated sheet structure. The component is subjected to a T7 heat treatment to reduce the risk of distortion of the intricate parts. This entry also scored points for the high depth of value added right through to CIL coating in the foundry.

Special Commendations:
Part of an oil-coolant module for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles

Hengst SE & Co KG, Nordwalde
Alloy: EN AC-AISi9Cu3(Fe)
Weight: 6,777g
Dimensions: l: 250mm x, w: 230mm x, h: 360mm

This entry was commended for the methodical approach adopted with respect to development, design, vertical range of manufacture and casting from a single source. The component has a high function density that can only be achieved by close co-operation between the development department and the foundry. The complex geometry and the demanding tolerances require special cooling measures, and these were achieved using additive-manufactured tool inserts.

Gearbox housing
Albert Handtmann Metallgusswerk GmbH & Co KG, Biberach/Riss
Alloy: EN AC-AISi9Cu3
Weight: 20,240g
Dimensions: l: 517mm x, w: 503mm x, h: 388mm

This casting is a modern gearbox housing with a high degree of functional integration for a hybrid vehicle. To meet the high demands placed on cast-component quality locally, the company had to pull out all the stops where tool design was concerned: jet cooling, slider-in-slider, coated wear inserts, gating by means of a slider, the use of squeezers and vacuum-assisted venting of the cavity.

Compact pump unit
Druckguss Westfalen GmbH & Co KG, Geseke

Alloy: EN AC-AlSi10MnMg
Weight: 3,365g
Dimensions: l: 259mm x, w: 178mm x, h: 172mm

A special commendation will also be awarded for the methodical further development of a diecasting mould for a compact pump unit that is used in mechanical engineering. The existing tooling presented a particular challenge for the filling and venting of the hub area. It was possible to optimise the component geometry, tooling concept and casting parameters by methodical and uncompromising use of simulation tooling. Ultimately, the required cast-component quality was achieved using this meticulous approach.

For visuals of all the winners, see the printed March 2018 Foundry Trade Journal.