The main metals used in die casting include zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium, lead, tin and lead tin alloys. Some of the more unusual die-cast metals include ZAMAK, aluminum and zinc alloys, and Alcoa standards :AA380, AA384, AA386, AA390, and AZ91D magnesium. Diecasting of various metals is characterized as follows:
Zinc: the easiest metal to die casting, very economical when making small parts, easy to coating, high compressive strength, high plasticity, long casting life.
Aluminum: lightweight, complex and thin-walled castings with high dimensional stability, corrosion resistance, good mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, and high strength at high temperatures.
Magnesium: easy to machine, high strength and weight ratio, usually die - casting metal is the lightest.
Copper: high hardness, strong corrosion resistance, mechanical properties of commonly used die - casting metals, wear resistance, strength close to steel.
Lead and tin: high density, high dimensional accuracy, can be used as special anti-corrosion parts. For public health reasons, this alloy cannot be used as food processing and storage equipment. An alloy (and sometimes a bit of copper) of lead, tin, and antimony can be used to make hand-printed type and gilding in letterpress printing.
The maximum mass limit for die casting using aluminum, copper, magnesium and zinc is 70 pounds (32 kilograms), 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), 44 pounds (20 kilograms) and 75 pounds (34 kilograms), respectively.