NEW YORK Eastern Alloys Inc. is looking to push its new zinc alloy to the automotive industry this year, Ryan Winter, manager of customer engineered services, told AMM.
The Maybrook, N.Y.-based die casters EZAC alloymade primarily of zinc, aluminum and copperhas a number of appealing traits for automakers, including creep resistance, strength and hardness, Winter said.
Zinc alloys have previously had issues with creepwhen a part deforms over time in extreme temperaturesand, therefore, arent used in under-the-hood automotive applications, where parts are exposed to hot temperatures and significant stress.
The EZAC alloy might also be appealing to automakers looking for lighter-weight materials to meet stricter fuel emissions standards coming out of Washington, according to Winter.
"This improved creep resistance will hopefully get us into automotive markets, including under-the-hood applications," he said. "(A lot of these applications) are made of steel or cast iron that are much heavier than zinc. As automakers try to cut down weight, EZAC should be considered as it is lighter than many of the other metals used in automotive components, such as steel."
Winter noted that zinc is still heavier than aluminum and magnesium, two other materials of choice for automakers. But Eastern Alloys has developed a way to reduce the thickness of the zinc and keep the strength, with zinc also cheaper to manufacture, he added.
"Many automotive manufacturers prefer incorporating lighter materials, such as aluminum and magnesium, in their designs, but they like the low manufacturing costs of zinc," Winter said. "Our solution is to offer a zinc alloy product such as EZAC that is almost three times as strong as aluminum and magnesium but far more fluid. We can therefore cast thinner walls (but keep the strength). It is like having the best of both worlds."
In addition to automotive, EZAC is targeting other markets such as medical devises and LED lighting.
"We feel that EZAC checks most boxes. Its high strength, its highly fluid so its easy to cast, its creep resistant, its hard, its more cost efficient," Winter said.