Metals/Materials Articles

The metals/materials technology area has information on the most commonly used materials in metal fabrication ̶ carbon steels; stainless steels; high-strength, low-alloy steels (HSLAs); and the 6000 series aluminum ̶ and those that aren't as common, such as the red metals, refractory metals, titanium, and magnesium.

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Corrosion mechanisms, processes -

Corrosion mechanisms, processes

October 7, 2013 | By Susan Conley

Applying a corrosion prevention product to steel isn’t enough. If the workpiece is contaminated with something as minor as fingerprints or steel fines, corrosion can get a foothold. Understanding the components that make up a corrosion cell, and how a corrosion cell works, is necessary in learning how to prevent corrosion from getting a start.

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Defending boiler components against corrosive and erosive attack -

Defending boiler components against corrosive and erosive attack

September 5, 2013 | By Chad Wagner

Maintaining a boiler system can be very expensive and require a lot of downtime for the equipment. The electric arc wire thermal spray process is one efficient way to create a protective overlay on boiler components and systems, helping to reduce replacement costs and outage times.

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Free-machining steels

You can machine it, but can you weld it?

October 8, 2012 | By Michael Pfeifer

Free-machining steels shouldn’t be welded. If a fabricator has a job requiring a free-machining steel, engineers and fabricators should get together to determine the best action. Can welding be avoided by using fasteners? If not, which weldable materials exhibit acceptable machining characteristics, and do these materials meet design requirements?

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Welding CrMo material

Use and weldability of high-chromium molybdenum steels

September 10, 2012 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

At least a dozen chromium molybdenum (CrMo) steel combinations exist. One of the more recent alloys consists of chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, niobium (columbium), and nitrogen. Beginning sometime in the 1970s, this material became popular for use in high-temperature applications, such as gas and...

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Chromium molybdenum—its uses and fabrication requirements -

Chromium molybdenum—its uses and fabrication requirements

July 9, 2012 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Chromium molybdenum alloys have characteristics that make them good choices for many products used in construction and manufacturing. This article discusses some applications for these materials and the processes and equipment necessary to complete them.

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Metallury for welders -

Metallurgy for welders

May 25, 2012 | By Keith Packard

The goal when welding any material is to change its microstructure as little as possible and to preserve its mechanical and chemical properties. To achieve this you must be able to determine its weldability, control the heat input, and prevent rapid cooling.

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Enhancing the surface to combat equipment wear -

Enhancing the surface to combat equipment wear

May 8, 2012 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Equipment wears as it’s used, particularly in heavy applications such as extracting natural resources from the earth. Surface welding used to repair and strengthen equipment helps prevent costly downtime.

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The many faces of stainless steel

March 5, 2012 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Stainless steel comes in various forms—austenitic, martensitic, and ferritic. Which type you use depends on your application requirements.

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Better bonding: A thermal spray primer -

Better bonding: A thermal spray primer

February 28, 2012 | By Steven Ort, Chad Wagner

From electric arc wire spray to HVOF technology, various thermal spray process options provide durability and protection against wear and corrosion in myriad applications.

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New River Gorge Bridge

Building bridges

January 9, 2012 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Some fabricators and educators are fascinated by bridges. Bridges come in many different types, and diverse materials are used to build them.

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Overlaying sheave

Don’t junk it, make it better

October 10, 2011 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

By using today’s new alloys, you can cut costs, extend equipment use, and actually improve products. Here are some examples of how this can be done by welding with aluminum bronze (CuAl).

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Full steam (chest) ahead -

Full steam (chest) ahead

July 26, 2011 | By Amanda Carlson

Welding and fabricating using exotic metals requires a special touch, one that Schwabel Fabricating Co., Tonowanda, N.Y., has built its business on for the last 53 years.

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Aluminum truck bed

What is abrasion-resistant material?

July 21, 2011 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Creating welding procedures for abrasive-resistant (AR) materials can be difficult because many of them do not conform to ASTM,ASME, or SAE standards for chemical or mechanical properties. However, these materials can be welded successfully.

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Copper alloys medical equipment

Antimicrobial copper displaces stainless steel, germs for medical applications

June 20, 2011

Stainless steel is favored for many uses because it doesn’t rust and it’s easy to clean. However, for medical environments, copper is making inroads. Copper has been shown to kill six varieties of bacteria, and the EPA has registered more than 350 alloys to have antimicrobial properties.

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equation 1 and 2

Determining the flow stress curve with yield and ultimate tensile strengths, Part I

May 11, 2011

Yield strength and ultimate tensile strength can be used to determine the flow stress curve. First, the tensile test reveals tensile force and elongation, which are used to obtain the stress-strain curve, which reveals yield stress and ultimate tensile strength.

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