Aluminum alloy die casting method comprising the steps of providing a die casting machine having a gate for allowing passage of molten aluminum alloy, setting a flow rate of the molten aluminum alloy at the gate to be in a range of 5 m/sec to 15 m/sec, and press-injecting the molten aluminum alloy into a cavity of a die. With this arrangement, it becomes possible to obtain a weldable casting with no entrapment of air.
An aluminum alloy for a vehicular part, which is formed of a die cast product manufactured by the die casting method of the present invention, is weldable and also dense in structure. As a result, these vehicular parts formed of the die-cast products are manufactured on a large scale at a low cost.
Casting a molten aluminum alloy in a die in atmospheric air using only gravity as a force is called a "gravity die casting method" or simply a "die casting method". Such a casting method has been effectively used to manufacture aluminum alloy castings for use as parts of a two-wheeled or lightweight vehicle body, or for engine parts.
However, the gravity die casting has problems, as in a sand mold casting method, such that its long cycle of casting limits productivity, the produced castings have poor dimensional accuracy, and a post heat-treatment is required to improve the strength of the castings.
In an attempt to solve these problems, it became necessary to consider adopting a die casting method which provides improved dimensional accuracy and has an extremely short cycle of casting. The principle of this die casting method resides in press-injecting molten metal into a cavity of a die at a high speed and pressure. In this die casting method, since molten metal is injected at a high speed, air is entrapped in the molten metal and remains as bubbles in a casting, with the result that the bubbles produce blisters on the surface of the casting upon heating of the latter. On the other hand, this die casting method is advantageous in that since molten metal is injected at a high pressure, a die-cast product obtained by the method has a dense structure and a flat cast surface, which lead to increased strength of the product and thus eliminate the necessity for giving a post heat-treatment to the product.
For manufacturing a three-dimensional structure such as a two-wheeled vehicle body, it becomes necessary to weld castings together. A casting obtained by the above-described gravity die casting is weldable but not a casting obtained by the latter die casting method.
Various improved die casting methods have been proposed for the manufacture of weldable die-cast products. An example is Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication No. HEI-4-172166 entitled "METHOD OF MANUFACTURING ALUMINUM CAST PARTS FOR BRAZING". According to this method, as shown in the drawing figures of the publication, a flow rate of molten metal at a gate (gate velocity) is switched stepwise between a low flow rate ranging from 0.3 m/sec to 0.6 m/sec for a first half of processing and a high flow rate ranging from 10 m/sec to 30 m/sec for a latter half of the processing.
However, in an associated die casting machine, an expensive control mechanism and a highly advanced control technique are required to switch the moving speed of a piston in the course of forward movement thereof. Further, the die casting machine is required to have increased rigidity so that it can withstand a large accelerating or decelerating force generated due to the change in moving speed of the piston. There has also been known a die casting machine having two cylinders that can be selectively used for effecting the change in moving speed of a piston. Although such a die casting machine facilitates the control of the movement speed of the piston to some extent, it becomes large in size.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an aluminum alloy die casting method which enables the manufacture of a weldable die-cast product without requiring expensive modifications to an existing die casting machine and a highly advanced control technique.
To achieve the above object, according to the present invention, there is provided an aluminum alloy die casting method comprising the steps of providing a die casting machine having a gate for allowing passage of molten aluminum alloy, setting a flow rate of the molten aluminum alloy at the gate to be in a range of 5 m/sec to 15 m/sec, and press-injecting the molten aluminum alloy into a cavity of a die.