Metal vs. Plastic: Die Castings Used for Audio Speakers. Examine your sub-woofer speaker closely. Can you tell if it is made from aluminum or plastic? Aluminum die castings used for audio speakers are a popular application of die-casting as a machining procedure. These types of speakers are very similar with plastic-built ones, and they have several advantages too.
Many speaker brands use plastic as frames and fixtures of their speakers. They are shaped through soft molding, where molten plastic takes the shape of the mold. Plastic is desired because it is cheaper and easy to manufacture compared with metals. The market patronizes plastic-built speakers because they are light and easy to carry around.
However, there is a recent problem with plastics in terms of toxicity and recyclability. Hence, die castings used for audio speakers have become more popular. Aluminum is widely used for speaker frames and internal fixtures. Plastics need several treatments for them to be tough. They need plasticizers and conditioners. Aluminum, on the other hand, is already tough and durable by itself. Especially because it undergoes cold-chamber die casting, aluminum speaker parts exhibit low brittleness and good elasticity. It fights on par even with the best treated plastics. Aluminum is also very light.
Aluminum die castings used for audio speakers are made from high pressure molding. The molten aluminum is injected to a pair of dies. Then, pressures of 10 to 175 mega Pascal are applied until the shaped metal solidifies. The resulting product is stiff and non-toxic, and it is easily recyclable. Just disassemble it and it can be processed again.
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