top of page
  • Writer's pictureLocke-Brothers

Low Volume Zinc Castings: A Great Alternative to Bronze, Aluminum & Cast Iron

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Do you ever need to source a zinc casting, with a weight ranging from a few ounces to 14lbs, however, the yearly usage just doesn’t justify the investment in a die cast tool? Graphite Permanent Mold Casting is a great option for that type of project!

Graphite tools, on average, cost about 25% of what a standard Zinc die casting tool would be. ALBCO designs and builds the majority of our tools in house, which means a more competitive price and a shorter lead time to completion.

On average these graphic tools will produce 25,000 parts before they will need to be replaced. Graphite tooling can hold a tolerance of +/-.005”. +/-.002” across parting lines.

The two Zinc alloys that ALBCO pours today are ZA-8 and ZA-12. ZA-12 has become the more popular alloy and has emerged as the alloy of choice over aluminum, cast iron, and brass. This is due to its precision casting tolerance and superior finish. ZA is also extremely easy to machine and offers minimal wear on CNC cutting tools.

Advantages of ZA-12 Castings Over Bronze, Aluminum, and Cast Iron Castings

ZA-12 is a great alternative to Bronze, Aluminum, and Cast Iron. Here are some of the notable advantages that ZA-12 offers:

ZA-12 vs. Bronze

ZA alloys have intrinsic bearing properties and can be alternatives for larger bronze industrial bushings and bearings. They're also 43% lighter than their bronze counterparts which means they can be used for applications where space is limited or when weight is a concern.

ZA-12 vs. Cast Iron

While ZA-12 and cast iron are roughly the same when it comes to strength and weight, ZA-12 machines much easier which translates to faster cycle times and less tooling wear.

ZA-12 vs. Aluminum

ZA-12 can be cast when higher strength is required. ZA-12 has the best combination of hardness, strength, and weight, even more than any other sand and die cast aluminums.

Overall Advantages of Using Graphite Permanent Molds

  • Lower Tooling Cost vs other casting methods

  • Shorter lead times vs other casting methods

  • Minimal secondary operations needed

  • Great material for Bearing and moving parts

Low Volume Zinc Casting Part Examples

ALBCO is another recent partnership with Locke-Brothers in 2020. ALBCO is a non-ferrous foundry and machine shop based out of Lisbon Ohio. ALBCO Foundry and Machine is a premier non-ferrous sand and graphite permanent mold foundry of OEM and aftermarket replacement parts.


Have an Upcoming Project?

Request a Quote Below and Find Out Why Hundreds of Businesses Prefer Locke-Brothers


bottom of page