"Engineering is the... art of applying science to the optimum conversion of natural resources."
Professor Ralph J. Smith, Stanford University
Die-casting is the name given to a process of producing identical and often complicated metal parts by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a reusable type of mold, which is known as a die. It is a four-step process. First the inside of the die is coated with a lubricant—used partly to help control the temperature of the mold, and partly to aid the removal of the cast when complete. Molten metal is then injected into the die under high pressure. Generally non ferrous metals are used in die-casting. Zinc is popular as it is easy to cast and has a low melting point, which increases the working lifespan of the die. Aluminum is also used as it is very lightweight. The metal is kept under pressure until the casting has solidified. The die is then opened, the molding scrap is removed (which will then be remelted and recycled), and the piece is generally complete, although various finishes may be applied.
German-born mechanic Herman Doehler 0872-1964), founder of the Doehler Die Casting Company, created the first die-casting machine in 1905; he was issued a patent for this process in 1906 and set up his company in Brooklyn in 1907, moving to Batavia, New York, in 1921. Among other achievements in the field of die-casting, he went on to become the largest producer of hood ornaments for American cars.