Zinc Die Casting: Zamak VS ZA Alloys Composition 2024

Zinc die casting is a highly efficient metal casting process renowned for its precision, cost-effectiveness, and ability to produce complex parts with tight tolerances.

Key Advantages of Zinc Die Casting

  • High production rates: 
  • Excellent dimensional stability: 
  •  Versatility: 
  •  Cost-efficiency: 
  •  Sustainability: 

Latest Statistics on Zinc Die Casting 2024

The global zinc die casting market size was valued at USD $17.62 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.29% between 2023-2030. [Reference: Market Research Report]

Zinc die casting finds widespread use in the automotive industry, accounting for approximately 25% of the total market share [Reference: Industry Publication].

Zinc, a naturally abundant element, has historically played a crucial role in various industries. However, its malleability, strength, and excellent casting fluidity make Zinc a formidable choice for die casting parts.

According to a 2023 report by Grand View Research, the global zinc die casting market is projected to reach a staggering USD 22.81 billion by 2030, reflecting its growing popularity across diverse applications.

Why is zinc used for die casting?

For die casting buyers, zinc presents a compelling value proposition. Its cost-effectiveness stands out compared to other popular materials like aluminum, making it ideal for high-volume production and low cost projects.

Furthermore, zinc’s lightweight nature contributes to fuel efficiency and sustainability, aligning with contemporary trends in various sectors.

Understanding Zinc Alloys: The Building Blocks of Success

Common Zinc Alloys Used in Casting

Alloy DesignationDescriptionApplications
Zamak 3 (ASTM AG40A)Most widely used zinc die casting alloy. Offers good balance of strength, ductility, and casting characteristics.Automotive components (door handles, brackets), electronics (heat sinks, housings), consumer goods (appliance parts, hardware), building hardware (locks, doorknobs)
Zamak 5 (ASTM AG41A)Similar to Zamak 3 but with slightly higher aluminum content, providing improved strength and creep resistance.Similar applications to Zamak 3, often used in parts requiring slightly higher strength.
ZA-8 (ASTM B240, B669)Zinc-aluminum alloy with higher aluminum content compared to Zamak alloys, offering improved strength and wear resistance.Gears, sprockets, bearing caps, structural components.
ZA-12 (ASTM B240, B669)Zinc-aluminum alloy with even higher aluminum content, delivering the highest strength among common zinc casting alloys.High-strength components, automotive parts requiring additional structural integrity.
ZC410Zinc-copper alloy containing a small amount of copper for improved machinability and wear resistance.Screws, nuts, fittings, and other hardware components.
ZM10 (ASTM G93)High-purity zinc with minimal impurities for applications requiring high corrosion resistance.Sacrificial anodes for cathodic protection, battery components.

Before exploring zinc die casting, let’s delve into the essence of the material itself – zinc alloys. These specially formulated blends combine pure zinc with other elements, unlocking a wider range of properties and functionalities compared to pure zinc.

Is zinc die cast strong?

Pure zinc boasts several characteristics that make it well-suited for die casting:

Malleability: This property allows zinc to be easily shaped into complex designs without cracking or breaking, crucial for intricate components in various applications.

Melting Point: Zinc melts at a relatively lower temperature (around 420°C) compared to other commonly used die casting materials like aluminum (around 660°C). This translates to reduced energy consumption during the die casting process, impacting both operational costs and environmental footprint.

  • Castability: Zinc exhibits excellent casting fluidity, meaning it readily flows into intricate mold cavities, enabling the production of thin-walled and highly detailed components. This characteristic aligns perfectly with the demands of modern die casting applications.

Die cast zinc material properties

PropertyTypical Values (Zamak 3)Units
Melting Point419°C
Tensile Strength340MPa
Yield Strength270MPa
Elongation at Break4%
Hardness (Brinell)120HB
Modulus of Elasticity40-45GPa
Thermal Conductivity112W/(m·K)
Electrical Conductivity11.2 x 10^6S/m
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion23.6 x 10^-6/°C
Corrosion ResistanceGood in normal atmospheric conditions

Zamak VS ZA: Which is better in Die Casting?

When it comes to zinc die casting, two primary alloy families dominate: Zamak and ZA.

Zamak alloys (e.g., Zamak 3, Zamak 5): 

Zamak alloys offer a good balance of strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance. Their excellent casting properties make them ideal for high-volume production of intricate components. Zamak alloys are widely utilized in automotive parts, electronics, consumer goods, and hardware.

ZA alloys (e.g., ZA-8, ZA-12):

ZA alloys increased strength and creep resistance compared to Zamak alloys. They are preferred for applications requiring durability and dimensional stability under pressure, such as structural components, gears, and engine parts.

Alternative  Alloys:

While Zamak and ZA reign supreme in the die casting realm, other noteworthy zinc alloys exist:

  • ZC alloys: These alloys offer superior wear resistance and are often used in bearings and bushings.
  • ZM alloys: These alloys are primarily used for electroplating applications due to their compatibility with electroplating processes.

Zinc die cast composition

Alloy DesignationZn (min)AlCuMgFePbSnNiOther
Zamak 3** (ASTM AG40A)**92.50%3.50%1.00%0.03%0.07%0.01%0.00%0.01%
Zamak 5** (ASTM AG41A)**94.50%4.10%0.70%0.03%0.10%0.01%0.00%0.01%
ZA-8** (ASTM B240, B669)**84.00%8.30%1.00%0.03%0.10%0.00%0.00%0.01%
ZA-12** (ASTM B240, B669)**81.00%12.00%1.00%0.03%0.10%0.00%0.00%0.01%
  • Zn: Main component, providing formability and casting properties.
  • Al: Increases strength and creep resistance.
  • Cu: Improves strength and hardness.
  • Mg: Improves casting fluidity and machinability.
  • Fe: Impurity, minimized due to negative impact on corrosion resistance.
  • Pb: Traditionally used for improved machinability, but increasingly restricted due to environmental concerns.
  • Sn: Improves corrosion resistance and plating characteristics.
  • Ni: Improves strength and wear resistance.

Zinc die cast vs steel

PropertyZinc Die CastingSteel
Material CostLowerHigher
DensityLower (6.6 g/cm³)Higher (7.8 g/cm³)
Melting PointLower (419 °C)Higher (1538 °C)
Corrosion ResistanceGood in normal atmospheric conditionsGood, but requires additional protection for harsh environments
Casting FluidityExcellentPoor
Dimensional StabilityGoodExcellent
Surface FinishGood, readily accepts finishesVaries, may require additional finishing
RecyclabilityHighly recyclableHighly recyclable

Zinc die cast vs aluminum

PropertyZinc Die CastingAluminum
Material CostLowerGenerally higher
DensityLower (6.6 g/cm³)Lower (2.7 g/cm³)
Melting PointLower (419 °C)Higher (660 °C)
Corrosion ResistanceGood in normal atmospheric conditions, susceptible to some chemicalsGood in many environments, but susceptible to specific environments and requires anodizing for enhanced protection
Casting FluidityExcellentGood
Dimensional StabilityGoodExcellent
Surface FinishGood, readily accepts finishesGood, readily accepts finishes
RecyclabilityHighly recyclableHighly recyclable

 The Hot Chamber Die Casting Process for Zinc

Now that we’ve explored the wonders of zinc alloys, let’s unveil the intricate dance of zinc die casting. This section focuses on the hot chamber die casting process, specifically tailored for zinc alloys.

The Hot Chamber Advantage:

Unlike other die casting processes, the hot chamber method utilizes a molten metal reservoir consistently maintained in a heated chamber. This approach offers several advantages for zinc:

  • Lower energy consumption: Since the zinc remains molten, less energy is required compared to methods that re-melt the metal for each cycle.
  • Faster cycle times: The readily available molten metal allows for quicker injection and solidification, leading to increased production rates and cost-effectiveness for high-volume productions.
  • Reduced thermal shock: Consistent temperature management minimizes thermal shock on the mold, extending its lifespan and reducing maintenance costs.

Four Steps of Hot Chamber Die Casting:

The hot chamber die casting process for zinc alloys can be broken down into four key steps:

  1. Melting: Zinc alloy ingots are melted within the heated chamber, reaching a temperature slightly above its melting point.
  2. Injection: The molten zinc is injected under high pressure into a die cavity precisely replicating the desired shape of the final part.
  3. Solidification: The injected zinc rapidly cools and solidifies within the die cavity, taking on the mold’s shape.
  4. Ejection: Once solidified, the die casting is ejected from the mold, and the cycle repeats.

A Glimpse into Other Die Casting Methods:

While the hot chamber process reigns supreme for zinc, other die casting methods exist:

  • Cold chamber die casting: This method involves re-melting the metal for each injection, resulting in slower cycle times and higher energy consumption. However, it offers greater control over metal temperature and is often used for materials with higher melting points like aluminum.

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Zinc Die Castings

Having unraveled the process behind zinc die casting, let’s now delve into the heart of the matter: the physical and mechanical properties that make zinc castings such a desirable choice for various applications.

Benefits of Zinc Die Casting:

Zinc die castings boast a compelling combination of properties, making them well-suited for diverse applications:

  • Strength: While not the strongest die casting material, zinc alloys offer adequate strength for a wide range of applications. For instance, Zamak 3 exhibits a tensile strength of around 340 MPa, suitable for many consumer goods and hardware components.
  • Ductility: Zinc die castings exhibit good ductility, allowing them to deform under pressure without breaking. This property is crucial for applications requiring slight bending or forming.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Zinc naturally possesses excellent corrosion resistance, particularly under normal atmospheric conditions. This inherent resistance eliminates the need for additional coatings in many applications, reducing costs and maintenance requirements.
  • Dimensional Stability: Zamak alloys exhibit good dimensional stability, meaning they maintain their shape well after casting. This stability is crucial for parts requiring precise dimensions and tight tolerances.

Comparing Zinc to the Competition

It’s important to acknowledge that different die casting materials offer varying properties. While zinc excels in some areas, other materials might outperform it in others:

  • Strength: Compared to aluminum alloys, zinc generally offers lower tensile strength. However, for many applications, zinc’s adequate strength is sufficient and outweighed by its cost-effectiveness and other benefits.
  • Weight: Both zinc and aluminum alloys are considered lightweight compared to other metals, making them ideal for weight-sensitive applications.

Unique Advantages of Zinc Alloys:

While the core properties discussed above are valuable, zinc alloys possess additional unique advantages:

  • Excellent Bearing and Wear Properties: Zinc die castings offer exceptional bearing and wear resistance, making them ideal for applications involving friction and movement, such as gears or bushings. This advantage often surpasses other commonly used die casting materials.
  • Machinability: Zinc die castings are highly machinable, allowing for easy drilling, tapping, and other finishing processes, adding to their versatility and appeal for various applications.

What are the disadvantages of zinc die casting?

While zinc die casting offers numerous advantages, it’s important to be aware of its limitations to make informed decisions for your projects. Here’s a breakdown of the primary disadvantages of zinc die casting:

1. Porosity and Air Entrapment:

  • Even with careful process control, zinc die castings can be prone to porosity due to air trapped within the molten metal during injection.
  • Porosity can negatively impact strength, pressure tightness, and surface finish, making it unsuitable for some applications.

2. Limited High-Temperature Performance:

  • Zinc alloys have a relatively low melting point compared to materials like aluminum or steel.
  • This makes them less suitable for applications where components will be exposed to sustained high temperatures, as they can lose strength and experience creep (deformation over time).

3. Susceptibility to Corrosion in Harsh Environments:

  • Though zinc offers good corrosion resistance in typical environments, it’s not ideal for applications with constant moisture or exposure to harsh chemicals.

Applications of Zinc Die Casting

Having explored the intricacies of zinc alloys and their properties, let’s now unveil the true power of zinc die casting: its advantages and diverse applications across various industries.

Low Cost Manufacturing:

One of the most compelling advantages of zinc die casting is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to other die casting materials like aluminum, zinc generally offers a lower material cost. Additionally, the faster cycle times and lower energy consumption associated with the hot chamber process further contribute to cost savings, making zinc an attractive choice for high-volume productions.

Lightweight Advantage:

Zinc die castings are remarkably lightweight, contributing to several benefits:

  • Fuel efficiency: In the automotive industry, lighter components translate to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, aligning with modern environmental sustainability goals.
  • Enhanced performance: Lighter components in various applications, from electronics to construction, can lead to improved performance, maneuverability, and portability.

Thin-Wall Capability:

Zinc’s excellent casting fluidity allows for the production of thin-walled components. This capability opens doors for innovative designs and weight reduction while maintaining functionality.

Excellent Surface Finishing Potential:

Zinc die castings readily accept various electroplating and painting finishes, resulting in smooth, aesthetically pleasing surfaces. This characteristic makes them ideal for applications where visual appeal matters, such as consumer goods and electronics.

The diverse advantages of zinc die casting pave the way for its extensive application across various industries:

  • Automotive: Zinc die castings are widely used for door handles, instrument panels, brackets, and other components due to their affordability, lightweight nature, and good strength.
  • Electronics: Components like heat sinks, housings, and connectors often benefit from zinc’s combination of properties, including conductivity and machinability.
  • Consumer Goods: From appliance components and hardware to toys and sporting equipment, zinc die castings offer a cost-effective and versatile solution.
  • Construction: Zinc finds application in building hardware, door locks, and lighting fixtures, capitalizing on its durability and corrosion resistance.

Everyday Zinc Die Cast Examples

Look around your environment and you’ll likely encounter zinc die castings in various everyday objects:

  • The door handles you use daily.
  • The heat sinks dissipating heat in your electronic devices.
  • The brackets supporting shelves or components in your furniture.
  • The decorative hardware on your cabinet doors.

Choosing the Right Zinc Die Casting Machine:

Selecting the appropriate zinc die casting machine is crucial for optimizing your production process. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Clamping Force: This indicates the machine’s ability to withstand the pressure exerted during injection. Higher clamping force is generally needed for larger or more complex parts.
  • Shot Size: This refers to the amount of molten metal the machine can inject in a single cycle, impacting the size and weight of the cast parts.
  • Injection Speed: Faster injection speeds can lead to improved productivity and surface quality.
  • Automation Level: The level of automation can significantly impact labor costs and production efficiency.

Zinc die casting machine prices in 2024

  • Small, simple machines: May start around $10,000 – $30,000
  • Medium-sized machines with some automation: Can range between $50,000 – $150,000
  • Large, high-tonnage, fully automated machines: Can easily exceed $200,000

General Knowledge FAQs On Zinc Diecasting

  • What is zinc die casting?
    • Brief explanation: A manufacturing process where molten zinc alloy is forced under high pressure into a reusable steel mold (die) to create precise, complex parts in large quantities.
  • Is zinc die casting expensive?
    • It depends: Tooling costs can be significant upfront, but zinc die casting becomes highly cost-effective for high production volumes due to faster cycle times and lower material cost per part compared to processes like machining.
  • What are the advantages of zinc die casting?
    • Key points: Excellent castability for complex shapes, strong and lightweight, good dimensional accuracy, surface finishes, accepts coatings well, cost-effective for high volume.
  • What are the disadvantages of zinc die casting?
    • Main points: Can be prone to porosity if process isn’t well controlled, limited high-temperature performance, less ductile than some alternatives.


  • Where is zinc die casting used?
    • Examples: Automotive components, electronics, consumer goods, building hardware, medical devices, toys, and more.
  • Can zinc die casting be used for [specific product]?
    • Considerations: Evaluate the part’s shape complexity, strength requirements, environmental exposure, production volume, and weigh zinc’s properties against those factors.
  • Is zinc die casting good for outdoor use?
    • Generally suitable for most environments, but additional coatings might be needed for extreme conditions or extended lifespan.


  • Zinc die casting vs. aluminum die casting
    • Quick comparison: Zinc often offers lower cost and better castability for intricate parts, whereas aluminum provides higher strength and high-temperature suitability.
  • Zinc die casting vs. plastic injection molding
    • Factors: Zinc wins on strength, dimensional stability, and heat resistance. Plastic may be better for very large parts, complex internal features, and when low weight is a top priority.
  • Zinc die casting vs. 3D printing
    • Key difference: 3D printing excels for prototyping and low-volume production, while zinc die casting dominates in mass production of complex, high-quality parts.

Process and Finding Suppliers

  • How much does a zinc die casting mold cost?
    • No simple answer: Price depends on complexity, size, and the quality of the mold maker. Ballpark: thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
  • How do I find a zinc die casting company?
    • Tips: Consider industry certifications, search trade organizations (like ADCI), get references, and look for experience in similar projects to yours.
  • Can I zinc die cast at home?
    • Not recommended: It requires specialized equipment, expertise, and significant safety precautions due to molten metal.

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