A380 Alternatives: Exploring Best Aluminum Alloys for Die Casting

Aluminum die casting stands as a cornerstone of modern manufacturing, offering a unique blend of speed, flexibility, and efficiency. At its heart lie specialized alloys meticulously formulated to deliver tailored properties for diverse applications. This article delves into the complexities of these metallic marvels, focusing on some of the most widely utilized aluminum alloys employed in the high-pressure die casting process.

Before embarking on this exploration, it’s crucial to differentiate between the two primary die casting methods: hot chamber and cold chamber.

Hot Chamber Die Casting:

  • Molten metal resides directly in the furnace within the machine, enabling continuous casting.
  • Suitable for alloys with low melting points, such as A380 and A360.
  • Limited pressure capabilities restrict complex part geometries.

Cold Chamber Die Casting:

  • Molten metal is stored in a separate furnace and injected into the die under high pressure.
  • Handles alloys with higher melting points, offering wider material selection and enhanced strength.
  • Ideal for intricate designs due to superior pressure control.

Also Read: Hot and Cold Chamber die cast process

Now, let’s unlock the potential of each highlighted alloy:

Aluminum Alloy A380:

  • The reigning champion of die casting, boasting excellent castability, corrosion resistance, and machinability.
  • Widely used in automotive components, engine blocks, and housings due to its balance of properties.
  • Offers moderate strength and ductility.

Aluminum Alloy 383 (ADC12):

  • Similar to A380 but excels in intricate geometries due to its superior fluidity.
  • Often applied in thin-walled parts requiring high dimensional accuracy.
  • Possesses lower strength but comparable corrosion resistance.


  • The go-to for wear resistance and hardness, making it perfect for gears, pistons, and engine components.
  • Requires special handling due to its higher melting point and susceptibility to cracking.
  • Exhibits lower ductility and impact resistance compared to other alloys.


  • Renowned for its exceptional pressure tightness, making it ideal for hydraulic components and enclosures.
  • Offers good corrosion resistance and moderate strength.
  • May require special casting techniques due to its higher solidification rate.


  • Similar to A413 but offers improved machinability and weldability.
  • Frequently used in automotive and aerospace applications requiring pressure integrity.


  • A cold-chamber-specific alloy renowned for its resistance to wear, corrosion, and high temperatures.
  • Widely employed in demanding environments like engines and transmissions.
  • Possesses higher strength and hardness compared to conventional alloys.


  • Shines in pressure tightness and fluidity, making it well-suited for thin-walled parts and intricate designs.
  • Offers excellent weldability and corrosion resistance.
  • Might exhibit lower strength and wear resistance compared to other options.

Also Read: Aluminum Alloy Types & Grades

Brief Comparison Table of Aluminum Alloys for Die Casting:

AlloyTensile Strength (MPa)Yield Strength (MPa)Elongation (%)Hardness (HB)Casting ProcessCommon Applications
A380290180275Hot ChamberAutomotive, Engine Blocks, Housings
383250150365Hot ChamberThin-Walled Parts, Intricate Designs
B390340250190Cold ChamberGears, Pistons, Engine Components
A413310200280Hot/Cold ChamberHydraulic Components, Enclosures
413320210385Hot/Cold ChamberAutomotive, Aerospace
K-Alloy3802801100Cold ChamberEngines, Transmissions
A360240120560Hot ChamberThin-Walled Parts, Intricate Designs



Material (Alloy)Elongation (% in 50mm)Tensile Strength (PSI x 10^3)Yield Strength (0.2% PSI x 10^3)Hardness (Brinell HB)Process
A3562-528-3222-2575-90Hot/Cold Chamber Die Casting


  • A356:
    • Density: 0.098 lb/in^3
    • Melting Point: 1115 °F
    • Thermal Conductivity: 91.7 BTU/h∙ft∙°F
    • Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: 12.1 µin/in°F
    • Electrical Conductivity: 31.0 %IACS
    • Casting Process: Hot/Cold Chamber Die Casting


Aluminum (Bal.)Balance
Iron (max)1.0
Copper (max)0.3
Zinc (max)0.1
RoHS Compliant

Key Characteristics:

  • Good Castability and Machinability: Well-suited for complex geometries and intricate parts.
  • Moderate Strength and Ductility: Offers a balance between strength and ease of processing.
  • Corrosion Resistant: Suitable for applications requiring exposure to mild environments.
  • Hot/Cold Chamber Compatibility: Can be cast using either method, providing flexibility.


  • Automotive components (engine blocks, housings, transmission parts)
  • Consumer electronics (heat sinks, enclosures)
  • Building and construction (hardware, brackets)
  • Marine applications (fittings, pumps)


  • Susceptible to hot cracking if casting parameters are not controlled properly.
  • Lower strength compared to some alloys like B390.



Material (Alloy)Elongation (% in 50mm)Tensile Strength (PSI x 10^3)Yield Strength (0.2% PSI x 10^3)Hardness (Brinell HB)Process      
A3605-724-2618-2060-70Hot Chamber Die Casting      


  • A360:
    • Density: 0.095 lb/in^3
    • Melting Point: 1165 °F
    • Thermal Conductivity: 90.0 BTU/h∙ft∙°F
    • Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: 13.0 µin/in°F
    • Electrical Conductivity: 32.0 %IACS
    • Casting Process: Hot Chamber Die Casting


Aluminum (Bal.)Balance
Iron (max)2.0
Copper (max)0.3
Zinc (max)1.0
RoHS Compliant

Key Characteristics:

  • Excellent Pressure Tightness: Ideal for components requiring leak-free performance.
  • Good Fluidity: Enables casting of thin-walled and intricate parts.
  • Lower Strength: Not ideal for highly stressed applications.
  • Hot Chamber Compatibility: Offers lower production costs due to simpler casting process.


  • Hydraulic components (valves, pump bodies)
  • Enclosures for electronic devices
  • Food and beverage industry parts
  • Decorative components


  • Lower mechanical properties compared to some cold chamber alloys.
  • Prone to shrinkage porosity if casting parameters are not optimized.


This exploration has unveiled the diverse world of aluminum die casting alloys, each with unique strengths and applications. From the versatile A380 to the pressure-resistant A413 and the wear-resistant B390, these metallic marvels fuel innovation across industries. Whether you require intricate geometries, exceptional strength, or leak-proof performance, an aluminum die casting alloy exists to meet your needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Aluminum die casting offers unrivaled speed, flexibility, and efficiency for diverse applications.
  • Hot and cold chamber processes cater to different melting points and part complexities.
  • Each alloy possesses unique properties like strength, corrosion resistance, and pressure tightness.
  • Understanding these properties and casting methods is crucial for choosing the right alloy.

Contact Castingod today to ask for a quote about aluminum die casting. We offer both high pressure and low pressure die casting molds.

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