New Delhi, India – The International Zinc Association (IZA), a leading industry body dedicated solely to the interests of zinc, recently organized a webinar on ‘Zinc Die Casting: A Billion-Dollar Opportunity’ in collaboration with Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL). The platform saw leading voices from the steel and die-casting sectors deliberate over the application of ultra-thin zinc die-casting alloys in various sectors, including automobiles and hardware, with the goal of steering conversations around advanced engineering technologies that can not only offer rigidity to steel structures but also corrosion protection.
Distinguished speakers from various fields, such as Manish Maheshwari, General Manager Design, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd; Sachin Shetty, Managing Partner, Quesrow Management Consulting; Sanjeev Verma, Director, Associated Technocrats Pvt Ltd; Sandeep Tandon, Director, DST Tech Pvt Ltd; and Sandeep Singh, Dy Director - Product Application and Customer Technical Services, Vedanta Resources Ltd, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, were seen sharing insights on some of the most defining aspects of zinc die-casting alloys with anecdotes of success in the Chinese market. Key experts also discussed the barriers to the application of the technology in India, as well as policy reforms that can assist the MSME segment in mitigating the challenges of the zinc die-casting industry.
Speaking of zinc die-casting (ZDC), which dominates all facets of the engineering industry due to its unique properties, Dr Rahul Sharma, Director (India) - International Zinc Association, stated, “ZDC is time and energy efficient with lower processing costs. Since it’s heavier and produces excellent surface finish post-casting and processing, it is an ideal replacement for traditional brass castings. Better casting precision, closer tolerances, it provides high fluidity with ultrathin castings up to 0.40mm.”
The new ultra-thin zinc die-casting alloys improve zinc alloy fluidity significantly, allowing casting section thickness to be reduced to 0.3mm or less. In comparison to other engineering alloys, this has the potential to save material, weight, time, energy, and cost. Some designers and users have recognized their unique technical properties, which will have an impact on the market. Zinc die-casting is used in automobiles, hardware, and bathroom faucets. However, the subject of its application to controlling corrosion and awareness has largely been limited to a small number of entities.
Furthermore, zinc alloys have been stated by International chemical composition standards to comfortably conform to the requirements of the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation, making them an environmentally friendly, sustainable technology. These statistics indicate that the government must exert pressure in terms of both strategic relations and structural reforms. Policy measures are required not only to make India a global hub for MSMEs in zinc die casting, but also to create job opportunities across the sector.
When compared to other developing countries, such as China, India lags far behind, despite having a zinc surplus, Sharma explained, “China has 50 percent-plus market share worldwide against 1.5 percent for India which is minuscule. China employs 15 million people in zinc die-casting space, as compared to a few lakhs by India. Globally, 18 percent of zinc produced gets absorbed for zinc die casting. However, only 8 percent of the zinc gets consumed for die-casting in India which is far below the world average despite the fact that India has one of the largest reserves of Zinc Ore and Hindustan Zinc Limited is world’s second-largest Zinc producer. While there have been small enterprises and MSMEs exporting zinc and related raw material to global markets, the quantity and quality is far behind global requirements.”
Joe Annetts, Consultant, International Zinc Association, highlighted the success story of the Chinese zinc die-casting industry and emphasized the necessary policy reforms that are required to put India on the global map of zinc die-casting. He emphasized the importance of deploying sustainable technologies such as zinc die-casting parks across states, which will not only boost businesses but also provide much-needed impetus to zinc die-casters in Tier II and III markets. In addition, P Udayakumar, Director (P&M), NSIC Ltd, shed light on the lack of awareness surrounding zinc die-casting alloys and the market’s existing skill gap. All of the panelists underlined the importance of technical training for zinc die-casters in the country, as well as the government support needed to help MSMEs grow a sustainable, profitable business.
Over 500 distinguished representatives from industry, academia, research, startups, and government organizations attended the event.
Image Source: International Zinc Association