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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.

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

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

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.

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Topics: Wear Resistance, Mechanical Properties, Wear

Material Applications: Wear Resistant Alloy Comparison

Posted by Dave Olsen on 9/6/16 4:13 PM


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 wear-resistant materials from another.



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

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

Material Applications: Wear Resistance

Posted by Dave Olsen on 9/6/16 3:46 PM

Wear is probably the most common cause of material replacement in industry. Bushings and bearings are common examples of components which must provide metal-to-metal wear resistance.  Wear is a universal constant in moving equipment in all applications.

In some applications like food processing the use of certain materials that provide superior wear resistance (copper-based alloys, for example) is restricted or prohibited. In these applications, specific alloys have been developed to eliminate certain types of wear, like galling, without reacting with the environment. In the case of food processing applications, for example, a series of “dairy metals” has been developed to prevent these types of wear.  When corrosion-resistance is the primary concern, high-performance cobalt-based alloys are often specified.

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

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