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Category Archives: Magnesium Die Casting

The Verdict Is In… CWM and Stenograph Win the IMA Award for Die Cast Design!

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Stenograph Luminex parts were cast by Chicago White Metal. Screen frame and Keyboard Chassis

The Screen Frame casting (left) and the Keyboard Chassis casting (right) are the 2016 Winners for the IMA Award for Design Excellence.  

IMA Die Casting Excellence Award for Magnesium Part

The IMA Award makes its way home from Italy to CWM!

The verdict is in – Chicago White Metal joined forces with Stenograph to not only meet the requirements for producing the high-end stenotype machine parts, but also to win the “case” for Commercial Castings – Excellence in Design from the International Magnesium Association (IMA).

The International Magnesium Association (IMA) was founded in 1943 with a mission in mind – “promote the use of the metal magnesium in material selection and encourage innovative applications of the versatile metal.”

Stenograph produces high-end, portable stenotype machines for court reporters with exceptional quality.  The Stenograph Luminex is more than 1 lb. lighter than the previous model, 33% thinner, and stands at a mere 2.5″ tall.

Walter & Carolyn Treiber accept the prestigious IMA award for die cast design excellence for magnesium, for customer Stenograph

Walter & Carolyn Treiber accept IMA Award for Die Cast Design.

This Award of Excellence is an annual award that is given to the company demonstrating an outstanding example of the use of magnesium.  The magnesium screen frame serves as an ideal metal replacement for plastic, creating a high-end “feel” and look to the end product.  The keyboard chassis replaced aluminum with magnesium for decreased mass, allowing the final product to offer maximum portability.

Walter Treiber explains at the IMA’s World Conference in Italy why magnesium was ultimately chosen for the die cast design of this particular casting.

CWM Ice Sculpture at 2016 IMA World Conference in Italy

The International Magnesium Association (IMA) Creates a CWM Ice Sculpture at the IMA World Conference Closing Banquet in Italy.

Magnesium’s ability to be die cast with an excellent surface finish allows the screen frame part to readily accept a highly cosmetic appearance, giving a sleek, reflective surface finish to the screen frame.  A court reporter is expected to type the official transcripts of court hearings several times a day with amazing efficiency, so the decision to cast the keyboard chassis in magnesium reduced the overall end product mass, which increased portability from one courtroom to the next.”

Congratulations to Chicago White Metal and Stenograph for the success and excellence in die casting!

Visit Stenograph for more information on the Stenograph Luminex.

Die Casting 101: Hot Chamber vs. Cold Chamber

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hot chamber and cold chamber die cast parts groupHigh pressure die casting (HPDC) is a process where molten metal is injected under very high pressure into premium steel molds (dies) in order to manufacture high precision die cast products.  The die is designed to cast engineered shapes and complex features with great accuracy and consistent replication.

There are two types of HPDC which Chicago White Metal provides: hot chamber die casting and cold chamber die casting.  Although there are several similarities between the two types, they exist separately for different purposes.

Hot Chamber Die Casting

This is the hot chamber die casting process when the plunger is in the "up" position. Hot chamber die casting is a type of die casting that uses alloys with low melting temperatures (i.e. Zinc, some Magnesium alloys).  Using alloys with high melting temperatures would result in
damage to the gooseneck, nozzle and other components.

In a hot chamber die casting machine, the fixed die half is called a cover die, which is mounted to a stationary platen (large plate to which each die half is mounted) and aligns with the nozzle of the gooseneck.  The movable die half is the ejector die and is mounted to a movable platen, which slides along tie bars.

This is an illustration of the hot chamber process when the plunger is in the down position. The metal is contained in an open holding pot, which is placed in the furnace and melted to the needed temperature.  When the plunger is in the “up” position, the molten metal flows into the shot chamber.  As the plunger moves down, it forces the molten metal through a gooseneck and into the die at injection pressures ranging from 1,000 – 5,000 psi.

The machine pushes the moving platen towards the cover die and holds it closed with great pressure until the molten metal is injected.  The plunger remains in the “down” position to hold the pressure while the casting “cools off.”  After solidification, the plunger is retracted and the cast part is either ejected, manually removed from the machine or pushed off the cover die.  This ejection system, which includes an ejector die and ejector pins, allows the casting to be pushed out while releasing the die halves.

Watch an animation of a hot chamber die casting machine by clicking the following image:
Hot Chamber Die Casting Process Illustrated in a Video

Cold Chamber Die Casting

This is an illustration of the cold chamber process. The ladle is pouring the molten metal alloy into the shot chamber. Cold chamber die casting is a type of die casting that is used for alloys with high melting temperatures (i.e. Aluminum and some Magnesium alloys).

As a contrast from hot chamber die casting (pumping molten metal into the machine), molten metal is ladled from the furnace into the shot chamber through a pouring hole.  While the general function of the cold chamber machine is similar to hot chamber, cold chamber works with a horizontal orientation and does not have a gooseneck.  The ram is pushing the molten metal from the shot chamber into the die cavity to create the die cast part. Instead, the plunger forces metal through the shot chamber into the die at pressures ranging from 2,000 and 20,000 psi.  The plunger holds the pressure and retracts after solidification.  The clamping unit and mounting of dies is set up the same as hot chamber, however the cover die for a cold chamber machine does not have a gooseneck or nozzle, and therefore aligns directly from the shot chamber.

Watch an animation of a cold chamber die casting machine by clicking the following image:
Cold Chamber Die Casting Video

If you would like to discuss how CWM can help you with your die casting project, please call 630-595-4424 or contact us at sales@cwmtl.com with your inquiries.

CWM and A-Dec Dental win the prestigious IMA Award for Die Casting!

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International Magnesium Association presents Chicago White Metal with the prestigious Magnesium Die Casting Award for Excellence in Design.

Chicago White Metal does it again!  To add to the collection of die casting awards, CWM teamed up with A-Dec to create a part that fulfills and exceeds the high standards and quality of A-Dec’s parts, which ultimately became an award-winning duo.

The International Magnesium Association (IMA) was founded in 1943 with a mission in mind – “promote the use of the metal magnesium in material selection and encourage innovative applications of the versatile metal.”

A-Dec produces high-end dental products with exceptional quality.

This Award of Excellence is an annual award that is given to the company demonstrating an outstanding example of the use of magnesium.  With the rear housing and driver die castings being the first magnesium parts to be used in A-Dec’s LED Operatory Dental Light, the benefit of a decreased mass, ease of movement, and satisfaction of the customer proved to be a winner in itself, even without the award.


 When asked why a magnesium die casting was chosen for this application, a presentation given by Jon Miller a the Closing Banquet said the following:

“Magnesium’s strength-to-weight ratio and thin wall casting capability allowed for a thin-walled, lightweight part, which in turnallowed for a slender, stylish, ergonomic support structure.  Magnesium’s low mass enables the LED light to be easily maneuvered/positioned and minimizes issues with drift, inertia, or vibration.  Magnesium’s ability to dissipate heat allowed for passive cooling of the circuit board and diode connection points.  This means fewer moving parts and helps the unit achieve an estimated 20-year service life.  Magnesium’s ability to be die cast with excellent surface finish, and to readily accept commercial RoHs-compliant pre-treatment and po

magnesium-die-casting-driver-componentswder paint allowed the light housing to have a highly cosmetic appearance, matching the uniformity of the mating molded plastic and painted tubular structure.”

Congratulations to CWM and to A-Dec for amazing teamwork on this magnesium die casting duo!  

Still Believe That Magnesium Die Casting is Too Expensive?

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Magnesium die casting floating moneyThe reality is, die casting metal materials are priced and purchased by the pound. In engineered part designs, their material content is based on the volumes actually used in the part. When objective material cost evaluations are based on “equal volume” comparisons, magnesium die casting becomes cost-competitive due to its low density, excellent strength, stiffness and energy absorption characteristics. Magnesium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any structural metal.

Magnesium’s thinwall die casting capabilities routinely allow housing walls to be cast to 0.12 in. (3 mm), with many walls cast as thin as 0.03 in. (0.76 mm). The results are lower magnesium part weights and material costs comparable to reinforced plastics. Automated hot-chamber magnesium die casting technology, exclusively used by CWM, delivers faster cycle times (30% greater than aluminum processing, plus die life from two to four times longer).

Cost and other so-called “knowns” about magnesium related to the die casting process may be keeping you from realizing the considerable benefits of today’s die cast processing in magnesium. Download CWM’s paper and get the facts on die casting with magnesium.  The paper is free to any Die Cast Design Center subscriber.

Explore the advantages of die casting with Magnesium and see if its unique properties can be employed in your new design or conversion from another process.  View our recorded webinar titled, “Magnesium Die Casting: Solutions for Today’s Markets.”  This 50-minute video reviews:

PREVIEW: Magnesium Die Casting Webinar
  • Mg properties and benefits
  • How Magnesium die casting stacks up to other manufacturing options
  • When Mg die casting is a smart choice
  • Prototyping and finishing options
  • Loads of case studies!

The webinar is available to any subscriber of CWM’s Die Casting Design Center – DC2.  Subscription is free and offers 75-plus technical papers including die cast design assistance, design specifications, and component sourcing resources. View the webinar now.