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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.

Metal Casting Processes Compared: When to consider a specific process

Posted by Dave Olsen on 1/21/20 3:42 PM

Which casting process should you use to manufacture your metal part?  This is a common question when customers develop a new component or are considering making a switch to metal castings from a fabrication or forging. Partnering with a supplier that brings a full range of metalworking processes lets you be confident that you are getting the best metalworking advice and not just being sold on an idea because it is the only answer a supplier has.

In this article, we will cover various casting processes you might select based on your product design and needs in a simple, bullet point format.

NOTE: This article assumes you have a basic understanding of various casting methods.  More specifically, sand casting, investment casting, and centrifugal casting.

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Topics: Investment Casting, Sand Casting, Centrifugal Casting, Process Selection, Casting Process, Lost Wax Casting

What is Investment Casting and How Does It Work?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 1/15/20 11:37 AM

Investment Casting (Lost Wax Casting)

Factors such as design requirements, cost, and feasibility to manufacture dictate which casting process is most suitable to manufacture a product. This article describing investment casting is intended to support you in making an informed metal casting decision.  

Investment casting produces precision-engineered components while minimizing material waste, energy, and subsequent machining. No other casting method, perhaps other than die casting, can ensure production of very intricate parts. This makes the investment casting process quite useful to design engineers.

What exactly is the investment in “investment” casting? The term “invested” historically carries the meaning of “clothed” or “surrounded.”  Investment casting employs a shell made of ceramic, plaster, or plastic that is formed around a wax pattern. The wax pattern is melted and removed in a furnace, and metal is then poured into the shell to create the casting.

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Topics: Investment Casting, Casting Process, Lost Wax Casting

What Is Austenitic Stainless Steel?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/30/19 8:23 AM

Austenitic stainless steels are a form of stainless steel that contain significant amounts of chromium and nickel, often manganese, molybdenum, and nitrogen as a supplement to the iron base. The addition of nickel to otherwise ferritic chrome-iron alloys yields predominately austenitic alloys. The microstructure change brings a marked increase in ductility and toughness.

The family of austenitic stainless steels is, by far, the most widely used of the stainless alloys in industrial markets. That is because corrosion resistance provided by austenitics is generally the best of all standard stainless types. Materials are non-hardenable (hardness ranges 130 to 200 BHN), non-magnetic to slightly magnetic, and are readily weldable and machinable.

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Topics: Stainless Steel, Austenitic

What Is Duplex Stainless Steel?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/30/19 8:22 AM

Duplex stainless steels are alloys with metallurgical structures generally regarded as being approximately equal parts of austenite and ferrite, with a 60/40, 40/60-phase distribution being the envelope widely considered as acceptable. The combination of austenite/ferrite produces alloys with twice the strength of conventional austenitic stainless steels.

Duplex stainless steels are virtually immune to stress corrosion cracking (the Achilles’ heel of common austenitic stainless steels) and are highly resistant to pitting and crevice corrosion. Possessing these characteristics, it is not surprising to find the majority of, but by no means all, applications to be seawater related.  Duplex stainless steels have many uses in offshore oil and gas production and naval equipment, particularly sub-surface.

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Topics: Ferrous Alloys, Duplex Stainless Steel

What Are Ferrous Alloys?

Posted by Dave Olsen on 12/27/19 9:23 AM

Ferrous metals or alloys are metals that consist mostly of iron (Fe). Steel is an iron-based alloy containing typically less than 1% carbon, where iron frequently contains 2% or more carbon. Iron and steel are widely available, strong, cheap, and can be shaped by casting.  Their mechanical properties can be improved by heat treating and, in the case of steels, by working (i.e. rolling or forging). Stainless steels were developed to resist corrosion and generally contain 12% or more chromium, and may contain nickel in any amount up to or even exceeding the chromium content based upon the mechanical properties desired and application.

There are several types of stainless steel. When considering these alloys for use in a corrosive environment, the most widely used method for initial selection is to compare PREn ratings (pitting resistance equivalent number) across materials.  This is calculated using the weight % of key alloying elements present in any particular grade of stainless steel. The formula is:

                                                                PREn = % Cr + (3.3 x % Mo) + (16 x % N)

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Topics: Ferrous Alloys

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