Each year, the North American Die Casting Association recognizes creators for their innovative designs that showcase the advancement and versatility of the die casting industry. These designs demonstrate continued commitment to optimizing the artistry, functionality, and performance of die casting. In 2018, Dynacast Elgin was awarded the Zinc Die Casting Under 6 Ounces award for a component that enhances the safety belt feature in cars by enabling a more consistent and efficient installation process.
The award-winning component functions as part of the pretensioning mechanism in automotive seatbelts. Using Zamak 5, Dynacast Engineering Manager Dave Haener was able to create a cable guide that allows for robotic assembly in the manufacturing process, thereby reducing the cost to the customer. Instead of requiring manual, labor-intensive forging of three disconnected parts during assembly, this casting is designed as a single unit that transforms into functional elements during installation.
According to Haener, the feature that sets this casting apart is the gated dovetail that binds the component together and guides the studs into position during installation, which allows for the studs to be orbitally riveted as a single unit.
The high copper content and tensile performance of the Dynacast Zamak 5 zinc alloy makes it the ideal material for casting components that are crucial to vehicular safety.
“A lot of times, molders will be shy of seatbelts because it’s such a safety-critical area. But for the customer, we were able to prove that Zamak 5 could give them everything that they were getting before with forging, but with a lot less expense,” says Haener.
Haener is no stranger to NADCA awards. The Zinc Under 6 Ounces award, which was presented at the Die Casting Industry Awards Luncheon on October 16, 2018, is Haener’s 13th NADCA International Die Casting Competition recognition. Categories in the competition are grouped by material and include aluminum, magnesium, zinc and other alloy families. Each submission is assessed on the ingenuity of the casting, overall quality, cost savings as compared to other manufacturing processes, and how the part contributes to expanding the market for die casting.
Haener’s unique cable guide design is just one example of the innovation that happens every day at Dynacast Elgin. We work tirelessly to assess and solve hiccups in the manufacturing process so that we can create and deliver the highest quality product available on the market. If you’re in need of a fresh approach to streamline your next project, contact our teamtoday.