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FROM THE DESK OF 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 Is Non-Ferrous Metal?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 11/4/19 3:19 PM

Non-ferrous metals or alloys are materials that are not iron based like their ferrous counterparts. One of the more common groups of non-ferrous materials are copper-based alloys such as bronze and brass. While it is common to use brass and bronze interchangeably, there is a difference.

Brasses are copper-based alloys which have zinc as the principle alloying element. In some cases, small amounts of nickel, aluminum, iron, or silicon may be also present. A good example is C85500 (also known as “60-40 yellow brass”). This alloy contains up to 63% copper, 0.8% aluminum, and around 40% zinc. Since the zinc content is high, the material is classified as brass.

Bronzes are copper-based alloys where the major alloying element is not zinc or nickel. The term bronze is used with a preceding modifier that describes the type of bronze it is, by indicating the major alloying element(s). For example, MTEK 83-7-7-3/C93200 is a high lead tin bronze because it contains 7% tin and 7% lead in addition to 83% copper and 3% zinc. Also, MTEK 175/C95400 is called an aluminum bronze because it is made up of 11% aluminum in addition to 85% copper and 4% iron.

Common bronze families or alloy groups are: Aluminum Bronze, Manganese Bronze, Tin Bronze, Leaded Tin Bronze, and High Copper Alloys.

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Topics: Copper Based Alloys, Non-Ferrous, Alloy Selection, Bronze, Wear Resistance, Wear

10 Examples of Choosing the Right Metal Alloy for the Application

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/22/19 3:06 PM

Sometimes particular alloys work in an application. Sometimes critical components and materials just don’t perform in a certain environment at all. There are factors like strength, resistance to corrosion, environmental temperature extremes, and many others, that help dictate which alloy to choose. Often a designer will select a familiar standard “workhorse” grade and keep moving, when time spent to better understand the environment and performance expectations can result in a healthier decision – one that reduces long term cost or improves performance.

Some examples where users analyzed the specific application and worked with MetalTek on selecting the correct alloy may shed some light on how that analysis provided a better material choice:

Metal Matrix Composite for Clutch Winch Drum Dramatically Increases Life
Naval supply replenishment vessels transfer equipment and supplies to military ships in service, while allowing for the relative motion of the ships. They employ high horsepower continuous slip air clutches to control the tension of connecting cables between the ships to allow for motion of the seas and relative movement of the vessels. The drums became unreliable and subject to significant wear when the change to non-asbestos brake material was implemented. MetalTek pioneered the development of a Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) centrifugally cast material for use in the friction drums. The MMC material used in the drum application virtually eliminated corrosion and drum wear. In addition, reduced hourly operating cost by 90%.

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Topics: Alloy Selection, Physical Properties, Mechanical Properties, Casting Process

Alloy Numbering Systems

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/12/18 11:41 AM

Surfing around the reaches of cable TV the other night, we came across an airing of Atlas Shrugged.  In the book/movie, Hank Rearden has developed a brand new light-weight high-performance alloy for railroads that threatens to revolutionize the industry.  Called “Rearden Metal” (once his career-savvy Marketing guys get a hold of it), Hank is protective of the chemistry and properties of the metal - other than to assert its superiority in the manufacture of train rails.

The burgeoning US rail industry in the late 1800’s was facing Rearden-like conditions.  Steel used in rail manufacture was of inconsistent quality – suppliers differed, manufacturing lots differed, and expectations between buyer and seller differed.  A take-it-or-leave it attitude prevailed.

Enter Charles Dudley, the father of ASTM, now the American Society for Testing and Materials.  Dudley engendered a collaborative process as a means to develop and adopt standards that were acceptable to both producers and users.  What began with railroad steel has expanded through the efforts of ASTM, DIN, BSI, JSA, AFNOR and others to thousands of other materials used in countless applications.

ASTM standards describe the composition of alloys, minimum mechanical properties that the materials must exhibit when test bars are evaluated, and standards for how those tests are to be done.  Customers know what to expect when designing components and suppliers know what properties must be achieved. 

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Topics: Non-Ferrous, Alloy Selection, Ferrous Alloys, Alloy Number Systems

Material Applications: Corrosion Resistant Alloy Comparison Part: 2

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/12/16 8:58 AM

 

Every material selection decision includes tradeoffs. Performance can come at a price.  But there is little sense in paying for capabilities that are not needed.  The following suggests a framework for selecting one of a family of corrosion-resistant materials from another.

Comparisons

Cost

Cost is rarely ignored, so it is helpful to compare certain corrosion-resistant alloys as multiples of cost of a generally recognized standard material, in this case 304 stainless. This analysis attempts to capture all-in cost including processing, and not just per-pound acquisition cost.

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Topics: Alloy Selection, Corrosion Resistance, Physical Properties, Mechanical Properties

Material Applications: High Temperature Corrosion

Posted by Dave Olsen on 9/6/16 4:23 PM

As the performance demands on metals tend to increase as temperature increases, so do the types of corrosive attacks to which the metal is likely to be subjected. When we think of significant industries and applications that are most likely to face the combined effects of high temperature with a corrosive environment significant ones come to mind:

  • Gas and Steam Turbines
  • Heat Treating
  • Mineral Processing
  • Chemical Processing
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Waste Incineration
  • Fossil Fuel Power Generation

High-temperature corrosion performance is a form of corrosion that does not require the presence of a liquid electrolyte. Some important forms of high-temperature corrosion to consider that often cause equipment problems are:

  • Ash/Salt Deposit Corrosion
  • Carburization
  • Halogen Corrosion
  • Metal Dusting
  • Molten Metal Corrosion
  • Molten Salt Corrosion
  • Nitridation
  • Oxidation
  • Sulfidation
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Topics: Alloy Selection, Corrosion Resistance, Physical Properties, Types Of Corrossion, Mechanical Properties

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