Ask the Metals Experts


Welcome to the MetalTek Blog.

As your Metals Partner, it is our goal to educate you on various casting processes. Feel free to browse around to learn more but if you have questions or need to submit an RFQ, please contact us. MetalTek International. Because You Demand More Than Metal.

What to Look For When Choosing a Casting Supplier

Posted by Dave Olsen on 2/5/18 2:05 PM

The process of choosing the right metal casting supplier should not be the same as choosing your supplier for bolts, manufacturing equipment, or office supplies. While some may treat metal castings as a commodity, they are far from it and the process for selecting the right supplier for a specific application requires careful consideration.

Supplier qualification is the most important part in the purchasing process. Traditionally, a purchaser’s primary responsibility was to find qualified and responsive suppliers. In some cases, purchasers assumed that any supplier willing to contractually meet the purchase requirement was qualified. However, using low cost and unqualified suppliers can cause quality issues, and wasted time and money in the long run.

To help you through the process, here are some things to consider when choosing the right metal casting supplier.  

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Topics: Investment Casting, Sand Casting, Centrifugal Casting, Continuous Casting, Casting Process, Lost Wax Casting

MetalTek International Honored by Department of Defense for Extraordinary Support of Employees Who Serve in the Wisconsin National Guard and Reserve

Posted by Dave Olsen on 2/1/18 11:23 AM

Oconomowoc, WI – Mike Williams, Chairman of the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee (ESGR), has announced Jamie Schindel, Machine Shop Supervisor of MetalTek International, was presented with a Patriot Award by ESGR representative Bill Rheingans, Area 2 Chair in recognition of extraordinary support of one of their employees serving in the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

The presentation took take place at MetalTek International, 905 E St Paul Ave, Waukesha WI, at 3:30 pm on January 24th, 2018.

According to Rheingans, “Jamie Schindel was nominated for this prestigious national award by their employee Daniel Voegeli who is a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard and assigned to the 128th ANG/LRS unit.  TSgt Voegeli is currently deployed and was unable to attend this event. 

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Topics: Press Release, Defense

Sand Casting Process: Featured Solution Examples

Posted by Dave Olsen on 8/3/17 2:45 PM

Think of a test that you face in metal component design or application. Here are some examples of where leveraging the advantages of sand casting have helped solve an application challenge.  Maybe you will see a problem you are working to resolve.

High performance needs combined with light weight

Military hardware transported by air to the place it is needed must be ready to perform, but also must be light enough to be portable. “Box Beam” sand casting sets in radiographic quality 17-4PH stainless steel ranging up to 1,000 lbs. and 14’ in length provided the needed strength and weight.  The solution was a result of work to select the alloy grade that delivered the needed performance with the right strength to weight ratio, and then producing to the standard.

Design and Tooling Capability Saves Development Time

Quick performance, perhaps caused by the need to rapidly develop alternative sources, relies in part on robust design and tooling capabilities.   ProE and AutoCAD for in-house design, Magma Soft for solidification simulation takes time and guesswork out of the design process.  When combined with the ability to supply patterns in wood, synthetics, metals, and other materials the upfront time to get into production quickly.

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Topics: Sand Casting, Casting Process

Sand Casting Process: Advantages and Limitations

Posted by Dave Olsen on 8/3/17 2:09 PM

Advantages of Using Sand Casting

Nearly any alloy:  Sand castings can be readily produced in nearly any ferrous or non-ferrous alloy.  Some other casting processes will melt and pour super-alloys in vacuum, but that is not typically done as a sand casting. Some materials cannot be “worked”, and must be produced as a casting.

Low tooling cost:  The relatively low cost of tooling makes sand casting a process of choice for lower volume needs.  Patterns do wear, though, so the material selected for the pattern (typically wood, plastic, or metal) will depend on the expected usage quantity of the part being produced. Though not necessarily cheaper in the short run, the use of machined (or “patternless”) molds may be a cost effective option for components with expected lower usage over longer periods.

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Topics: Sand Casting, Casting Process

What is Sand Casting and How Does It Work?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 8/3/17 1:57 PM

Sand Casting

The oldest known casting process, sand casting can be traced back to earlier than 1000 B.C. Process controls, material options, tolerance capabilities, the ability to produce elaborate parts, broad size ranges – those have all come a very long way, of course.  But the metals fundamentals are relatively unchanged.  Create a cavity in the shape of the part you want, and pour molten metal into it. 

The result of centuries of development is that sand casting is the most versatile, and probably the most widely used, metal casting method.

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Topics: Sand Casting, Casting Process

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