Gigacasting as a new technology in car body construction

In the new issue of the magazine "Automobilproduktion" a detailed interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Volk on the subject of aluminium die-casting for large shell components has been published. Wolfram Volk sees gigacasting as an alternative that adds an interesting variant to the technological toolbox in car body construction.

Portrait of Wolfram Volk
[Translate to en:] Foto: A.Heddergott/TUM

You can read the interview in full lenght here. Below we provide a short summary in english, as the original text is only available in german language:

"The aluminium die-casting process could revolutionise car body construction. Wolfram Volk, head of the Department of Forming Technology and Foundry at the Technical University of Munich, explains the advantages and disadvantages of so-called gigacasting.

For a factory, aluminium casting means a considerable space requirement. An important aspect here is that the die-casting moulds can currently only be changed vertically with the help of a crane. Changing the moulds, which can weigh up to 100 tonnes, takes ten to twelve hours. In comparison, tool changes in current large-scale press plants with their efficient servo presses are in the range of three minutes. Here, the moulds can be moved in and out horizontally. Die-casting moulds have to be inserted vertically because otherwise there are problems with the release agent. This circumstance, as well as the fact that only one component can be produced per machine, thus represent considerable limitations. Nevertheless, gigacasting brings thrust and movement into production. Other OEMs are now also thinking more fundamentally and achieving new degrees of freedom in production. I am already very curious to see which concepts will prevail in the future."
Th author of the original german text is Götz Fuchslocher.