Melting temperatures of up to 700 °C, melting speeds of up to 200 km/h and solidification times of 200 to 500 ms are impressive parameters of an ordinary aluminum die-casting process. If one compares these parameters with those of a normal plastic injection molding process (melt temperatures of 200 °C to 300 °C, melt speeds of 3 to 5 km/h and solidification times of 10 to 40 s), the technological challenges for the use of gas injection technology in die casting quickly become clear.
Gas injection technology in die casting has very great potential because, on the one hand, it enables the development and production of complex, hollow-blown components and, on the other hand, it allows the economic production of components in large quantities. This combination has not been compatible until now and is an important prerequisite for the use of a new technology, especially in high-wage countries like Germany.
The network of EurA AG and Aalen University brings partners together
The network was initiated by EurA AG and applied for in 2019. The ideas come primarily from the cooperation partners and current network partners Prof. Lothar Kallien from Aalen University and Marcel Op de Laak from TiK - Technologie in Kunststoff GmbH, who have already been pushing the technology for several years.
The aim of the innovation network is to promote the novel gas injection technology and to open it up for further areas of application. In doing so, the network sets both technology-driven and market-oriented priorities. This is because the technology is still in its infancy in some respects, which is why a corresponding technological basis is now to be created in various areas (including process simulation, internal channel processing, quality assurance, automation).
With regard to market orientation, the network's goal is to establish an expert platform with expertise from different areas along the value chain. Due to the achievable resource and weight savings, the technology has great potential to significantly advance the importance of die casting as the most promising technology for low-cost large-scale production. Especially for wage-intensive countries like Germany, the new technology therefore offers great potential. The vision is that gas injection technology can achieve a comparable status in the long term as the technology has already achieved in the plastics industry.
The international innovation network with partners from Germany, Switzerland and Austria is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK). It consists mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as universities and research institutions from the fields of die casting, mold making, internal channel cleaning, spray technology, mold temperature control, sensor technology, lubricants and automation.
About EurA AG
EurA AG, based in Ellwangen, Germany, has been active as a management consultancy in the field of innovation and promotion since 1999. It accompanies its clients through the entire innovation process, from corporate strategy, idea and partner identification, know-how transfer and financing to market launch. EurA AG has decades of experience in funding consultancy, technology transfer and innovation management. With around 185 employees at its locations in Ellwangen, Aachen, Herten, Zella-Mehlis, Erfurt, Hamburg, Oldenburg, Enge-Sande, Kiel, Pfarrkirchen/Munich, Berlin, Porto (Portugal) and Brussels (Belgium), EurA AG advises more than 2,500 industrial clients in Germany and other European countries. EurA AG thus has an excellent track record with more than 1,500 successful EU, federal, state and regional projects, from application to award to implementation. Thanks to its many years of consulting experience in almost all areas of economic development, EurA AG is very familiar with the specifics of many sectors. With its accreditation, EurA AG belongs to the narrow circle of technology and innovation consultancies approved by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Michael Maier, M. Sc.
Team Leader Project Management