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.

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. 

Read More

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

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%.

Read More

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

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.



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.

Read More

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

Why Certain Metals Offer Greater Wear Resistance

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/24/16 2:06 PM

One regularly hears recommendations about material selection. Use this alloy for superior heat resistance. Or that for seawater corrosion.  Or this other one for a high wear application.  But what about the alloy actually makes it deliver that performance?

In this installment, we will explore some simplified technical reasons – at the microscopic level - why certain metals inherently offer greater resistance to wear.

First, a definition of “wear.” In our context, we will define wear as the loss or deformation of a metal that is the result of the mechanical interaction with another material (not necessarily metal). Wear may take a number of forms including abrasion, adhesion or galling, erosion, and spalling.  It is highly impacted by product design and installation.  The rate and types of wear can also be affected by temperature and the fluid environment.  Wear is often measured as the amount of mass that is lost in a given period.

Read More

Topics: Wear Resistance, Mechanical Properties, Wear

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

Read More

Topics: Alloy Selection, Corrosion Resistance, Physical Properties, Types Of Corrossion, Mechanical Properties

MetalTek International
Download Our Alloy Guide 
Download Our Where Used Guide 

Follow Us