The Right Metals for the Job

The Right Metals for the Job

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Many different types of metals have been used for construction for many millennia, to make tools, buildings, or even weapons of war. In fact, some periods of pre-history are named after the most commonly used metals at the time, such as the Iron Age, Copper Age, and the Bronze Age. Then and now, metals have been useful where wood or stone will not work, and the Industrial Revolution truly transformed how humanity used metal. Steel dates back to the Middle Ages, but it was forged in limited quantities to make knight armor and swords. Starting in the 1800s, steel mills produced vast amounts of this metal for railroad tracks, buildings, and much more. Now, steel is still widely used, but it is not alone. Aluminum and titanium are also staple metals, and alloys are useful where ordinary metals might suffer distress. Alloys and specialized metal coatings such as ASTM B584 bronze, 660 stainless steel, A286 stainless steel, and cupro nickel 70 30 stand as fine examples of alloys and coatings. Finding ASTM B584 bronze may be important for any factory that must coat products with bronze, and materials such as ASTM B584 bronze can help steel and aluminum products work more effectively and survive environmental extremes. When is it time for ASTM B584 bronze or alloys?

Steel and Aluminum

Some of the most staple metals used today include aluminum and steel, often stainless steel. These two metals are lightweight and strong, making them useful for making vehicles and automobiles, buildings (usually steel), and household appliances and other electronic devices. Steel, made of forged and refined iron, is a staple for construction, and steel beams have long since made skyscrapers a possibility. Steel can also form railroad tracks as well as vehicle bodies, but aluminum is becoming popular as well since it’s even lighter. This can make for more fuel-efficient vehicles. And besides that, stainless steel is resistant to rusting or corrosion to a degree, making it ideal for surgical equipment and cutlery such as forks and knives. Aluminum may also be used for making household electronics and components. But sometimes, a job may call for even more specialized metal or coated products, and this is where ASTM B584 bronze, nickel alloys, and more can be ideal.

What Alloys Can Do

An alloy is a composite metal made up of two or more ingredient metals, such as steel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, copper, and bronze. The ratios and metals involve may vary, but alloys are always designed with particular properties in mind for specialized work. What can they do?

Steel alloys are often used when ordinary steel might suffer from extremes of heat combined with heavy workloads. These steel alloys may have a higher yield strength than regular steel and lift heavier loads, and they can also operate safely at higher temperatures than regular steel can endure. Such alloys might survive temperatures as low as -320 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as 1500 degrees Fahrenheit without being compromised. Some steel composites, for example, may be used in jet engine components, where heat would damage ordinary steel.

Meanwhile, some alloys are designed to endure extremes of corrosion or salinity. Some workplaces expose pipes or valves to chemicals or seawater, which would rapidly corrode and damage ordinary metal upon contact. This is where alloys, often made with copper or bronze, are used. Underwater pipes are made from such alloys to resist corrosion and leaks, especially if they carry seawater inside. In that case, the pumps and valves inside will also be made of those alloys, or at least coated in them. Chemical plants will also make good use of these alloys.

Alloys can be used to make metal bellows, too. Not to be confused with air-pumping bellows used in forges, metal bellows today are flexible metal tubes designed to carry liquids or gases and flex without rupturing. This sets them apart from tail pipes found in vehicles, which are rigid and can endure the engine’s vibration but not the expansion of gas inside. Ordinary metals might rupture or leak when used to make metal bellows, especially if the contents are very hot or pressurize. But the right alloys can make a metal bellows that will flex and expand from heated contents but not rupture or leak.

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