Die casting is most probably one of those technologies that gave the human race a huge boost. For example, the invention of electricity, personal computers, the Internet, etc., are some of the top inventions that utterly changed the course of human civilization. Comparing die casting with these seriously important inventions might seem "too much praise" to somebodies. But if you are from the manufacturing industry or at least know about the manufacturing industry, I think you can argue with me, but you won't wholly nullify my opinion.
Custom die casting is a technology that is like the "Renaissance" in the manufacturing industry that has changed many things, from production time to volume, production efficiency to product upgradation, and many more. And while we are talking about die casting technology, the automotive industry has taken the most advantage of this wonderful technology.
Custom Die casting, especially aluminum die casting, has been at the forefront of the development of the modern automotive industry. And when we say "modern automotive," one thing comes to everyone's mind – Electric Vehicles. Therefore, We have dedicated this article to how die casting supports electric vehicle prototyping.
Why are Electric Vehicles so Important!
We have stated earlier in this article that the automotive industry is one of the biggest beneficiaries of die casting technology. If it's true (which certainly is), then there must be some very crucial factors,
The foremost reason is the automotive industry can produce complexly designed parts with high precision. If the die casting company uses automation technology, then the minimum tolerance for each product can be ± 0.004'' (0.1 mm), which in other terms, we can say, is "near to zero."
Electronic car by Tesla
The use of electric cars has been growing at a breakneck pace (Elon Musk must be a delighted man knowing that! ). Since the industrial revolution started in 1760 in Great Britain and eventually ended in 1840, the manufacturing industries have never looked back.
Manufacturers used different types of power sources (Oil, Gas, Atomic Energy, etc.) to continue whatever they were producing. But what they didn't care about, or we can use the word "Ignored," is the effect of those power sources on our mother earth.
But nothing lasts forever, and now we are facing a serious climate issue all over the world. This is why most countries are now trying to use energies that are not harmful to the environment. That’s why electric vehicles are getting more and more focus on by many governments worldwide. Electric cars use electricity to run the car, which is absolutely harmless to the environment. This additional focus on electric cars is a blessing for aluminum and different types of aluminum alloys. Why aluminum? Why not any other metal. Because aluminum has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio – better than many other metals. This is crucial for light public transport vehicles
The Progress of die casting technology to support electronic vehicle prototyping
Aluminum is a versatile metal, and therefore, chemists can produce various types of aluminum alloys. The recent discovery of Al-Si-Cu-Mg alloys with the progress in aluminum metallurgy and the die casting method removed some sheet metal parts and most iron casting.
Right now, price is a big challenge for electric vehicles compared to standard ones. The main reason behind this huge price gap is the use of aluminum. Though the tooling costs for die cast aluminum are high, one can reduce the price by ordering a bulk quantity.
Moreover, using aluminum alloys decreases the overall manufacturing costs. And finally, designers can reduce the costs by eliminating the necessity of joining different parts to make a component by welding or any other assembly process.
So, you can see that aluminum was playing a big role in the price gap between these cars, But the game is changing now, and the momentum is shifting towards electric cars as they are now capable of using aluminum on their body and other portions.
From electronic vehicle prototyping, engineers are now assured that an Electrical Vehicle is capable of using 25% to 27% more aluminum (by weight) than combustion cars. Consequently a combustion car that uses over 200 die cast aluminum parts on its engine will become useless after a few years.
Applying the die cast aluminum technology to electric cars expanded its market by a great deal. Let me give you a stat to support my claim. In 2019 over 3.5 million passenger vehicles and over .42 million buses were sold. However, it is not a considerable number according to the market share, which is only 5%. Experts are forecasting that the share will be over 30% after 2030 in China and over 50% in the USA and Europe.
And nothing would have been possible without aluminum die casting support for electronic vehicle prototyping.
Challenges and Overcoming them
The main challenge with the electronic vehicle is producing lightweight batteries that can store a huge amount of voltage. Moreover, some other challenges, such as pillars, rear-side members, strut consoles, rear axle cross members, mounting for shock absorbers, etc., need to be addressed.
Electronic car companies have already developed lightweight batteries, and the technology is still upgrading. As this is a relevantly new technology and advancing very rapidly, we can say that these shortcomings will be resolved with new electronic vehicle prototypes.
If the energy source is limited, it will end someday, no matter how big it is. And if we keep contaminating our earth’s environment and atmosphere, we will leave an uninhabitable world for our next generation.
Therefore, we have to find an unlimited source of energy and consume the energy in such a fashion that it does not contaminate the world. Therefore, electric cars are getting more exposure these days.
New alloys and custom die casting can play a huge role here. For example, Tesla developed a new alloy that has a high yield strength of 90 to 150 MPa with 40 t0 60 percent IACS electrical conductivity. They are investing a huge amount in AI. Some days ago, Elon Musk tweeted, “The world has no idea about the AI we have in Tesla.”
Technologies like AI, new aluminum alloys, and die casting technology support electronic vehicle prototyping and will surely deliver more efficient and affordable electric cars in the near future. Because if that is not our future, we have a very ominous future ahead of us.