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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.

4 Real Life Examples Of Solving A Heat, Wear, Or Corrosion Problem

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/16/19 2:32 PM

The days when manufacturers had a host of technical experts on staff are past in many industries.  And this at a time when material choices are broader and product performance demands are higher than they have ever been.  So the situation will not get any easier. Here are just four real life examples where MetalTek International helped a customer's heat, wear, or corrosion problem.

If you have a question about alloy selection, if you manufacture products that operate in harsh corrosive, high wear, or extreme temperature environments, or if you are simply looking to improve product performance, contact MetalTek.

  1. Bearium Solves Load and Friction Problems in Mobile Crawler
    From the days of Apollo program through the Space Shuttle a heavy duty crawler has carried the enormous weight of space vehicles down the one-mile path to the launch pad. Early designs used to carry this load were subject to sudden catastrophic failures of the roller bearings, jeopardizing timing of the launches. The crawler went through an emergency redesign to replace the roller bearings with sleeve bearings manufactured using Bearium B-10, a high-lead bronze that is only available from MetalTek International. Designs using Bearium delivered acceptable performance in an application that would then feature much higher friction. Bearium is used in the space craft crawler application to this day.
  2. Creating a “Memorial to Last a Lifetime” 
    Working with architects to create a “Memorial to Last a Lifetime” is no small task. Every step of program management is critical—from materials and engineering, to budget compliance, to execution. Initially, the Pentagon Memorial team approached MetalTek International about choosing the “right” alloy to last 150 years; as various materials were trialed and budgeted, the ultimate selection came down to a restricted-range 316LN (CF3MN-Mod) alloy that would meet the design requirements and still be producible to tolerances such that 184 Memorial Units, each weighing over half a ton and measuring over 12’ (4m) in length, would seem to be “identical.” Specialized tooling, processing and fixtures were developed, trialed, and modified against an aggressive timeline. In the end, MetalTek met the Vision, the Budget, and the Schedule.
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Topics: Alloy Selection, Corrosion Resistance, Wear, Casting Process, Conversion, High Heat

Examples of Continuous Castings Solving a Problem and Decreasing Costs

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/4/19 4:03 PM

The continuous casting process involves pouring molten metal through a die of the desired outside profile. If shaping on the I.D. is also desired, the material may flow around a mandrel to create that profile. As a result, continuous cast product is often chosen to dramatically reduce machining cost. Here are just two examples of when the continuous casting process resulted in a cost savings.

AMS 4880 Alloy for High Wear Bushings and Sleeves

Taking off in an airplane is exciting but safely landing at your destination is the ultimate goal of flight. The landing gear is just one of the many important systems MetalTek’s aerospace customers design and build for commercial use. Two major landing gear components are bushings and sleeves that need to withstand wear from airplanes transitioning from 140-190 MPH to taxi speeds in a matter of seconds. MetalTek’s onsite metallurgical group recommended changes to their customer’s specifications to use continuously cast components made of AMS 4880, a nickel aluminum bronze (NAB) alloy, which met the component’s wear demands and offered an attractive cost savings over forged material. 

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

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. Ferrous metals contain iron making most of their metals a magnetic property.  Non-ferrous metals are found in the Earth as chemical compounds. The most important non-ferrous metals happen to be oxides or sulfides. One of the more common groups of non-ferrous materials is 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 that have zinc as the principal 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.

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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

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