Because of the drastic chilling involved in die casting and the fact that the solid solubilities of both aluminum and copper in zinc change with temperature, these alloys are subject to some aging changes, one of which is a dimensional change. Both of the alloys undergo a slight shrinkage after casting, which at room temperature is about two-thirds complete in five weeks. It is possible to accelerate this shrinkage by a stabilizing anneal, after which no further changes occur. The recommended stabilizing anneal is 3 to 6 h at 100 °C (212 °F), or 5 to 10 h at 85 °C (185 °F), or 10 to 20 h at 70 °C (158 °F). The time in each case is measured from the time at which the castings reach the annealing temperature. The parts may be air cooled after annealing. Such a treatment will cause a shrinkage (0.0004 in per in) of about two-thirds of the total, and the remaining shrinkage will occur at room temperature during the subsequent few weeks. Stabilizing results in a decrease in dimensions of about 0.0005 in per in from the original size of the casting. Stabilizing is, of course, unnecessary if the machine or fitting operations can be delayed until the castings have aged five weeks at room temperature.
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