We’ve seen a few one-of-a-kind ventures and individual parts pass through our office in recent decades. While many factors influence the appearance of these parts, from configuration details to custom tooling, one of the most important decisions made during the assembly process is consistently the most basic: material.
Each metal has advantages and disadvantages, and these characteristics lend each material to a variety of ideal applications. Getting the best results for a stepping project is always the result of carefully researching and selecting the best material fit for a section. Here are our top five material choices for custom stepping projects.
Copper has the highest accessible conductivity (100%), trailing only silver and gold in its presentation. Copper is also known for its resistance to mechanical environments, water, non-oxidizing acids, salts, and neutral saline solutions. While it does not react with water, copper consistently forms a tarnish dark oxide when exposed to environmental oxygen. Unlike rust, this oxide will protect the copper beneath from further oxidation. Copper is extremely pliable, bendable, and responsive to precision tooling. It is most commonly used in automotive and electrical stepped part applications.
A specific copper composite, phosphor bronze, contains up to 10% tin and up to 1% phosphorous, which provides deoxidizing during softening. While phosphor bronze falls short of copper’s incredible conductivity (only 15%), it is suitable for electrical connections with devices at extremely low temperatures due to its reasonable electrical execution combined with low warm conduction.
Phosphor Bronze is also resistant to stress erosion splitting and provides excellent consumption protection from seawater and modern environments. Phosphor bronze is a well-known choice for springs, jolts, and substantial weakness applications due to its sturdiness, quality, and low coefficient of erosion. It works best in thicknesses ranging from 0.008′′ to 0.050′′ for automotive and electrical applications.
Because of its lower cost than pure copper, brass is frequently the wisest choice for electrical applications. It is also known for its flexibility, hardness, and resistance to corrosion, as well as its pleasing appearance. Its pliability is greater than that of bronze or zinc alone because it is made by combining copper and zinc. Approximately 90% of its composites are an aftereffect of these materials being reused!
Brass provides excellent protection from freshwater, neutral or basic saline arrangement, natural mixes, and standard climates adrift, ashore, and in assembly. Adding aluminum to a metal amalgam can improve its resistance to consumption, while including lead can improve its machinability.
Aluminum is a very well-known material choice because of its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it ideal for solid, lightweight parts, both alone and in combination with other metals.
Aluminum is also known for its low thickness and consumption obstruction — it is susceptible to dampness and most synthetic concoctions. The metal has a conductivity of 61% and is suitable for both thermal and electrical superconductivity.
Aluminum is popular for car and mechanical parts in thicknesses ranging from 0.012′′ to 0.120′′. It is delicate, tough, lightweight, pliable, and pliable.
Toughened, cold-moved, spotless — there are an infinite number of steel combinations to suit any industry. Steel is a great mix of iron with carbon and a variety of different components. It is made by reducing the carbon in iron mineral and replacing it with materials to change properties like quality, conductivity, and consumption obstruction. Furthermore, heat-treating procedures such as toughening, extinguishing, and hardening can alter the material and its final performance.
Steel is regularly resistant to erosion, has a high conductivity range (up to 15%), and has excellent formability and toughness. It is a simple option that provides high standard pliable and yield quality. However, these properties can vary significantly, providing a wide range of options for finding the best fit for a specific venture.