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Diecast vs. Extruded: Which Aluminium Enclosure Type is Right for Your Business?

Every business needs aluminium enclosures to provide protection to the architectural, structural or general fabrication applications. Aluminium, with its lightweight, corrosion-resistant, environmentally-friendly, high strength-to-weight ratio and durable properties, is one of the most frequently used enclosures. However, with two types of aluminium enclosures – diecast and extruded – readily available, how will you make sure the one best suited for your unique application? What are the factors that you should check out before choosing the right aluminium enclosure for your business?

Both diecast and extruded enclosures offer industry-leading characteristics and superior benefits; however, there are some pros and cons to consider when determining which enclosure type to choose. The following differentiators should help you make the right choice.

Desired shape and design features

With die-casting, you can produce an enclosure of any desirable shape. As molten metal forms the exact shape of the mould, even a complex enclosure with irregular cross-sections can be made. Variations like holes, bosses, studs, slots, hinges, grooves, and other design features can be incorporated into the enclosure. If your business needs enclosures for your electrical and electronic applications such as switchboard casings, industrial control units, metering controls, or sensitive electronic assemblies, die-casting enclosures are the right choice.

On the other hand, the extrusion process is used to produce enclosures with uniform cross-sections, like straight metal parts, L-shaped or T-shaped parts, long tubes and rectangular shapes. You would need a secondary machine to integrate any other design feature on an extruded part. If you need protection for your sensitive PCB components, extruded aluminium enclosures are the right choice.

Secondary machining service or additional tooling

This brings us to the second key differentiator. With die casting, all features, including surface textures and finishes, can be designed faster and in one step. While with extrusion, as mentioned earlier, you would need another process like a secondary machining process or additional tooling to finish the product, increasing the overall manufacturing cost.

Protection from environmental factors

Extruded aluminium enclosures are corrosion resistant, have excellent heat dissipating properties and offer features like EMI protection and meet IP66 standards (high level of protection against particles and water).

Die-cast enclosures are also corrosion-resistant, can help prevent RFI or EMI and protect from a variety of environmental factors, including UV rays, moisture and dust. However, the air that gets entrapped inside the mould makes the die-cast enclosures porous.

Thinner walls

Die-cast enclosures are stronger and lighter and can be cast into thinner walls than the other casting methods.

For the extrusion manufacturing process, a thick product is needed to undergo the casting method.

Great flexibility in production

The extrusion moulding process is more flexible – it can produce products of different shapes, sizes, specifications and varieties on the same equipment with only changing moulds.

In contrast, for die-cast enclosures, you would need to change the moulds if you need a different cast which could be time-consuming.

The process of finding the right type of aluminium enclosure does not need to be difficult if you have the right information about them.

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