China’s Suzhou Sanji Foundry Equipment Co. Ltd. has inaugurated a Squeeze Casting Technical Center at its operations center in Suzhou, about 100 km west of Shanghai. The 20,000-sq.ft. plant has five indirect squeeze casting machines, each one with a dedicated melting furnace and peripheral devices.
Squeeze casting starts with molten metal poured into a pre-heated, two-part die. Once the metal begins to solidify in one half of the die, the other half of the die is used to apply pressure while solidification proceeds. “Indirect squeeze casting” uses vertical or horizontal diecasting equipment, and the molten metal is poured into the shot sleeve and then injected into the die at a controlled speed.
Sanji Foundry Equipment calls squeeze casting “a modified diecasting process that minimizes turbulence during injection of liquid aluminum into re-usable steel molds, producing extremely high-quality components that can develop excellent mechanical properties after heat treatment.”
Sanji is making the Technical Center and the research staff there available to manufacturers and other organizations to develop and produce prototype castings, and then evaluate the properties and performance of light-alloy squeeze cast components.
The five indirect squeeze casting machines range in size from 350 to 2,000 metric tons, and will produce aluminum castings up to 30 kg.
To date, Sanji indicated its researchers have produced prototype squeeze castings for clients in automotive and other transportation industries, as well as other markets. “Of special note are components squeeze cast from alloy 6061, an aluminum wrought alloy that is not normally cast,” according to its statement.
Sanji is a privately held company that develops and manufactures light-alloy diecasting machines and related components and technologies. Its product line includes horizontal cold-chamber diecasting machines ranging in size from 160 and 4,500 metric tons. In recent years, it has developed and manufactured a range of 14 different squeeze casting machines, all utilizing vertical injection. Its products and technologies are available to domestic Chinese and international customers.
"This is a very proud day for Sanji," stated president Shanxin Xu. "Establishing the Technical Center lets companies prototype high-quality, near-net shape castings, while allowing Sanji to spotlight our casting technologies to companies around the world.”