The North American Die Casting Association says on its website that it considers metal casting to be “America’s most fundamental industry.” It’s not surprising that a metal casting trade association would describe die casting services as fundamentally important, and it’s likely that other trade associations for other sectors of industry would dispute the NADCA’s claim. But there’s no denying that casting is an essential element in our industrial infrastructure.
The NADCA sites some reasons for why it considers its members’ products to be so important to American industry. According to them, 90% of all finished American manufactured products involve metal castings in some way. They say also that die casters make a $7 billion annual contribution to the country’s economy, and that the die casting industry employs 50,000 workers in direct and indirect capacities.
A lot of operations within commercial and industrial sectors rely on access to cast metal products. These operations range from advanced, high-tech operations such as aerospace manufacturing and medical products companies, to low-tech consumer products manufacturers, such as lawn care products manufacturers. You can find metal castings in space ships and in toy models of space ships. They can be found at all levels of industry and commerce in an extensive variety of products and contexts.
Die casting in particular is considered to be a comparatively sustainable metal forming process. According to the NADCA, more than 95% of North American die castings made of aluminum are composed of recycled aluminum. This reduces the need for new aluminum mining, and it also reduces the amount of aluminum that finds its way into waste areas like landfills. This also makes the process more economical. Additionally, scraps produced during the die casting process can often be recovered, melted down and then used in future casting. Considering all of these factors, it’s possible that the NADCA might just be right in its claim about the importance of die casting.