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International Aluminium Diecasting Awards 2016

The first prize at the International Aluminium Diecasting Awards 2016 was won by a part containing a large number of integrated functions, which was achieved by means of a highly complex die concept. It includes gating via a slide, slide-in-slide technique and an under floor slide with locking.
Other distinguishing features of the finished cast component are a sealing groove and a required flatness of 200μm. In addition, the component has to meet very stringent cleanliness requirements and exhibit tightness at oil pressures in excess of 50bar. Here, diecasting contributes to increasing the payload of commercial vehicles by use of intelligent applications.

1st Prize - Part of an oil-coolant assembly for medium-duty commercial vehicle engines by Hengst SE & Co KG, Nordwalde
Dimensions: l - 254mm, w - 220mm, h - 303mm; Weight: 3,996g; Alloy: EN AC-Al Si9Cu3(Fe)

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. GDA 
GDA - Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie eV (German aluminium association), Düsseldorf, organised the competition for aluminium diecastings for the second time and was partnered by the Association of the German Foundry Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie eV, BDG). The Austrian Economic Chambers (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKO) and the Swiss Aluminium Association 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, still further and to demonstrate further fields of application. Criteria for evaluating the castings submitted to the 2016 competition was resource efficient construction.

2nd Prize - Upper and lower XNF parts for a car battery case by Georg Fischer Druckguss GmbH, Herzogenburg
Dimensions: l - 781mm (upper part), 774mm (lower part), w - 508mm (upper part), 581mm (lower part), h - 115mm (upper part), 177mm (lower part); Weight: 6,400g (upper part), 9,140g (lower part); Alloy: EN AC-Al Si10MnMg
The second prize was awarded to a large surface, ready-to-install cast battery case. The jury rated the tight tolerances achieved and they highlighted that the mechanical properties needed to satisfy the crash requirements were achieved without heat treatment. Due to the long flow paths, the die temperature control is designed so that the gating area is cooled and the areas that are to be filled last are heated. This casting is a vivid example of the importance of diecasting technology in electro mobility.

3rd Prize - Switch housing for a truck gearbox by DGS Druckguss Systeme sro, Liberec
Dimensions: l - 250mm, w - 170mm, h - 115mm; Weight: 1,785g; Alloy: EN AC-Al Si10Mg(Fe)
The design requirements make this a complex component that can only be produced using a slide-in-slide die design. It was awarded the third prize because of the very high wall thicknesses, which are atypical for pressure diecasting and achieved using two squeezers of different diameters. When in use, the component will be subjected to a pressure of 10bar; it has a low pore density and is pressure-tight. The limits for utilising the diecasing process are thus utilised here to the full.

Special Commendations

Components of a water pump assembly for a petrol engine by Druckguss Westfalen GmbH & Co KG, Geseke
Dimensions: l - 110mm, w - 92mm, h - 73mm; Weight: 260g; Alloy: EN AC-Al Si9Cu3
This casting fulfils more stringent requirements with respect to porosity, which is kept to an absolute minimum throughout the whole component. The casting received a special recommendation for the systematic, methodical approach to designing the die. The integration of various functions and the weight reduction due to the compact design mean the component contributes to the energy efficiency of vehicles. 

Photovoltaic blade by Austria Druckguss GmbH & Co KG, Gleisdorf
Dimensions: l - 564mm, w - 450mm, h - 52mm; Weight: 3,960g; Alloy: EN AC-Al Si10MnMg
This casting is required for a freestanding, innovative photovoltaic unit that is subjected to very high wind forces. The application demonstrates the potential of diecasting for the structural components needed in the alternative generation of power. The judges recognised this and therefore awarded the casting a special commendation. 

Valve body for truck trailer by G A Röders GmbH & Co KG, Soltau
Dimensions: l - 170mm, w - 84mm, h - 112mm; Weight: 1,059g; Alloy: EN AC-Al Si12Cu1(Fe)
The demands made on the casting were fulfilled here using innovative die concepts. A weight saving was achieved thanks to the co-operation between the foundry and the designer and a contribution was thus made to energy efficiency. It enabled the casting to assert itself against competition from an injection moulded plastic part. 

For more information on the competition visit: 
To view images refer to the April issue of Foundry Trade Journal