Vehicle Weight Reduction Opportunities Offered by the ATM High Pressure Die Casting Technology 2009-01-0211
ATM high pressure die casting (ATM) is a variant of the traditional high pressure die casting (HPDC) process and offers better casting quality at a lower dollar and environmental costs when compared with HPDC. The improved quality in both aluminum and magnesium alloy castings is derived from a refined microstructure in which defect-forming suspensions and pores are also refined and more homogeneously dispersed.[1-4] The higher mechanical (and potentially greater fatigue) properties provide an opportunity for reducing section thicknesses of castings, with the ultimate benefit being a reduction in the weight of the vehicle. In this article the authors describe how the introduction of an orifice-type constriction in the path of the injected melt flow results in modifications to the microstructure in ATM castings. They provide evidence for the higher integrity achieved by ATM through a case study of a commercial automotive casting being produced since 2005 and they illustrate, through finite element analysis (FEA), the potential for component weight reduction.