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FROM THE DESK OF THE METALS EXPERTS

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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.

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

What Is Wear?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/10/18 4:37 PM

Walking across a grocery store parking lot, six-year-old Danny stumbled, fell down and did further damage to his already worn jeans.  He looked up with little tears in his eyes and said, “Daddy, maybe you should get me pants made out of steel!”  That got Daddy to thinking: What really is wear and what makes a metal resist it?

Among other qualities, metals are characterized by their toughness and by their hardness.  Toughness is the ability of a material to absorb impact without fracturing.  Hardness is the material’s ability to resist indentation, so typically the harder the material, the better it resists wear.  But hard materials are, generally, not tough materials.  A high impact application with a lot of wear would be a difficult environment.  Metal selection often demands tradeoffs. 

Like Danny’s jeans, wear in metals comes in various forms and can be caused by a variety of events.

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Topics: Non-Ferrous, Ferrous Alloys, Wear Resistance, Wear

What Makes It Stainless?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/10/18 4:17 PM

It’s everywhere. Probably more than you notice. It’s a key material in food preparation and food processing equipment. When you are eating, that fork in your hand is probably made of it. It is likely to be the material your sink is made of. And if you watch HGTV you know that no kitchen is complete unless it has appliances made of it. It’s a key component in many industrial applications. We are talking about stainless steel, but it’s probably so familiar that you just refer to it as your old friend, “Stainless”.

But just what makes this popular material “Stainless” and what does that mean?

Stainless steel is a ferrous (iron-based) alloy family that has a minimum of 10.5% chromium.  It has been known for a couple of centuries that adding chromium to a ferrous alloy really improves the material’s resistance to corrosion.  But it has only been in the last century or so that a better understanding of the metallurgy of that combination – more specifically the controlled inclusion of very small amounts of carbon – has allowed stainless steel to become the workhorse family of metals that it is.

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Topics: Ferrous Alloys, Stainless Steel

Nickel: Where Does It Come From?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/10/18 4:03 PM

Because of its strength, toughness, and resistance to corrosion, nickel is a key component of stainless steels.  In fact, the majority of the world’s nickel is consumed in the creation of stainless steel.

But where does nickel come from?  Most materials don’t just “appear” but, in a way, some of the nickel on earth has done just that.  Meteorites typically contain from 5 – 30% nickel.  So if you notice a rock that just “appeared” in your back yard last night, it may be nickel in the form of a meteorite. 

Nickel typically occurs naturally in an impure form as ore.  It must be mined, extracted and refined.  It is mined in a couple of dozen countries around the world, the most prolific of which include Russia,   Australia, Indonesia, and Canada.  Back to the “appearance” of nickel, there are some who think that the large deposit of nickel in the Sudbury region of Canada is the result of an ancient meteor collision.

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Topics: Ferrous Alloys, Nickel-Based Alloys

Cobalt-Based Material Profiles

Posted by Dave Olsen on 3/23/16 3:26 PM

Grade

  • MTEK 6 (R30006) Cobalt Based Alloy

Description

  • Cobalt-based alloy for severe applications

Properties – Why select this material

  • High abrasion and elevated temperature wear resistance
  • Galling resistance
  • Resistance to oxidation and corrosion resistance
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Topics: Ferrous Alloys, Cobalt-Based Alloys

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