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DGS Druckguss Systeme AG: Die casting with record dimensions

DGS AG has been producing what is probably the largest die casting made in Europe with outer dimensions of 2050 mm x 1230 mm x 54.5 mm in its works in St. Gallen (Switzerland). The part serves as a frame mount for an innovative solar collector made by Hoval, a producer of solar power installations. The new module is equally suited for rooftop as well as for in-roof installation. Despite its extremely filigree construction  notwithstanding its dimensions, the finished part weighs just 6400 grams, the frame is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 140 km/h and snow loads of up to 700 kg/ m2. A further requirement is that under all circumstances the tightness of the gasket protecting the solar modules must be ensured in order to prevent water infiltrations which would impair the collector function and could eventually result in a total breakdown.

Compared to a welded construction made from profiles, the new casting solution offers several advantages, e.g. as a result of the integration of attachment parts such as edge reinforcements, consoles and stops. This saves the customer complex and costly welding operations, which always pose a risk with respect to tightness. Furthermore, the special aluminium alloy used for the part does not need surface protection.

The casting is produced on an BÜHLER SCD 320 die-casting machine with a locking force of 3200 t. Alone the size of the die and ensuring a uniform good casting quality despite the extremely long flow paths of more than 2 metres represented a challenge of its own. Particular attention had to be paid to avoiding warping due to the shrinkage of the massive sprue on the one hand and due to the ejection and die-cutting on the other hand. Further problems had to be solved in connection with the handling of the very large and delicate frame using a robot. Ensuring the exact function of the cutting die when stamping the contour despite having to cut edges 2 metres in length proved to be equally challenging. DGS was able to meet all customer requirements with respect to dimensional accuracy and reproducibility.

DGS will exhibit the frame at its booth at Euroguss 2014 (Jan. 14th 16th, 2014) in Nuremberg (Hall 7A, Stand 7A-142).

DGS Druckguss Systeme AG, headquartered in St. Gallen (Switzerland) ranks amongst the world leaders for the production of large-sized structural castings made of aluminium. With a total workforce of some 750 employees and three plants in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and China, the company produces die-cast parts made from aluminium, magnesium or zinc.

 

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