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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

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

It's Still The Bronze Age

Posted by Dave Olsen on 10/10/18 3:15 PM

Metallurgically, Bronze is a copper-based metal alloyed with tin, lead, aluminum or other elements to change the material’s physical or mechanical properties.  The historic “Bronze Age” stretched from around 3000 B.C. to about 1000 B.C.  Early craftsmen found the material easier to deal with than stone for many uses, and more durable than other materials that they had access to for weapons, utensils, and decorative pieces.

In fact, we still get calls from time to time from customers who want us to cast a bronze art piece – we normally decline those opportunities. But even though MetalTek only casts the occasional bronze statue, we do pour a lot of bronze.  And there are good reasons why customers choose it.

Copper Base alloys are specified for their ability to satisfy needs like corrosion resistance, good mechanical strength, frictional and wear properties, bio-fouling resistance, and high electrical and thermal conductivity.  Unique combinations of these properties are met not by a single copper-based alloy, but by a series or family of copper-based alloys.  Common families are: Aluminum Bronze, Manganese Bronze, Tin Bronze, Leaded Tin Bronze and High Copper Alloys.

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Topics: Copper Based Alloys, Non-Ferrous, Bronze

Manganese Bronze Material Profile

Posted by Dave Olsen on 2/23/16 1:50 PM

Grade

  • HIGH TENSILE (C86300) Manganese Bronze

Description

  • Family of bronzes primarily known for its extremely high strength and ability to resist the corrosive effects of seawater and brine. Often referred to as Yellow Brass.
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Topics: Copper Based Alloys, High Tensile, Non-Ferrous, Manganese Bronze, Bronze, Yellow Brass

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