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The Old-fashioned Spinning of a Copper Teakettle

Copper spinning is the process of creating a rounded copper object on a spinning metal lathe. Some factories still employ the use of individual human spinners to shape the copper pieces. Other factories have switched out human spinners for machine-operated spinning machines, which can create more precise and exact results from the metal every time.

4 Shapes Made through Metal Spinning

Spin forming is the process of creating shaped metal pieces, usually rounded in shape, on a lathe or with other metal spinning tools. Spun metal has surprising strength and can be made into a variety of shapes. Although many factories use molds, rollers, or presses to create metal objects, many factories still use the process of spin forming aluminum. Spun aluminum pieces have the strength of the original metal plus additional strength provided by the shaping process. Spinning aluminum is a low-tech manufacturing option that still produces superior results over more high-tech solutions, which is one of the reasons why it is still so prevalent today. Many metal spinning factories create similar pieces, some of which can include:

A Childhood Filled with Great Toys

There are a lot of materials that make up the composition of children’s toys. Today, the majority of kids’ toys are made of plastic or some kind of plastic composite. In the 1980s, however, more children’s toys were made of metal. As a young child during that decade, I had a lot of toys made from metal, and one of my most cherished toys was my Lite Brite. It was a simple metal box with a light bulb inside of it. Covering the light bulb was a panel of perforated metal. It came with black sheets of paper, something akin to construction paper, and small, colored plastic pegs. The paper had patterns on it and you could either follow the pattern or create your own picture by forcing the pegs into the holes of the perforated metal. You would turn off the light, switch on the Lite Brite, and the picture you made would glow colorfully.

How to Buy Metal Channels

The world of metal channels is surprisingly large. If you have never tried to purchase a metal channel, then you have no idea how many different selection factors are involved. Luckily, we’ve put together this little guide to help you navigate the waters of metal fabrication and can help you identify the best channel for your needs.

Electroless Nickel Plating and More to Get the Right Reaction

With news of a princely engagement across the pond intertwined with Black Friday deals extending to the jewelry market, those without a family jewel to bequeath to their darling might be looking for a deal that will, like the media frenzy, combine the right price with a charmed reaction from that special someone. Even with the deals, though, some might find the solid gold or silver jewelry out of their price range. Luckily, gold and silver coatings applied to a more economic substrate through electroless plating offer a lovely alternative that still gets the right reaction. Coincidentally, getting the reaction right is the key to success when it comes to gold and silver plating just as it is with the more common electroless nickel plating.

Creating Culture from Copper

In anthropological studies of culture and civilization, one of the key elements is to gain an understanding of how a society develops over time. One way to do this is to examine of the evolution of material use and commodification. Through centuries and even millennia, one material in particular has demonstrated extreme utility within several societies and as such has become a vital tool for the study of those societies and civilization as a whole. Whether in the form of purposeful piping or astounding artwork, copper and its alloys have inundated the cultural realm. From antiquity to modern day manufacturing this renowned material finds use in not only the obscure and elite, but the everyday as well. While the impact of copper on daily life is often overlooked, the importance of copper to cultural studies and cultural continuity is paramount.

Sturdy, Stable, Stupendous: Stainless Steel Tubing

The history of stainless steel, though just a century long, is a bit confusing to say the least. French scientist Leon Guillet sought to analyze iron-nickel-chrome alloys in 1906, creating a material that would now be known as stainless steel though it was not at the time. The anti-corrosive material was again ‘invented’ in 1912 by Benno Strauss and Eduard Maurer, Germans looking for a new hull for their yachts. That same year Elwood Haynes ‘discovered’ the material to combat the frequent rusting of his razor blades. Though his patent was not secured until 1919, Haynes still beat out fellow 1912 inventor Harry Brearley who announced this ‘new’ material several years later. Though the debate may never reach a conclusion, it is known that that last contender, Harry Brearley, who sought a more rugged material for rifle barrels, did with great certainty invent the first stainless steel tubing.

Cold Headed Parts and Warm Christmas Cookies

During these dog days of summer when pop cans drip with condensation immediately when removed from the cooler, when beach towels take days to dry and when no hair product can stand up to the humidity, I catch myself thinking fondly of the upcoming winter season. As much as I complain about the blustery weather and the complications of snow, I also get warm fuzzies just thinking about all the winter activities I love like getting the Christmas tree, drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire and baking cookies. Baking sugar cookies in the shape of stockings, trees and stars is an annual tradition for me and though making cookies may seem like just a fun way of producing delicious treats, it actually has a number of similarities with manufacturing cold headed parts.

Tube Fabrication: Slipping, Sliding, Riding and Guiding the Way through Summer

Less than a week away from the official start of the season, the signs of summer are abundant throughout the state of Michigan. Schools are letting out, water parks are filled with loyal patrons waiting in long lines for the cool relief offered by the oversized slides, both motorcycles and bicycles line the streets and sidewalks and the most popular camping sites are just about at capacity. As Michiganders slosh down giant water filled tubes at high speed, balance precariously on the framework of a bike or wrestle with unruly canopy and tent frames; it’s unlikely that most will consider the industrial processes that make each of these pastimes possible. More than just a summer commodity, tubes and tube fabrication play an important role in recreation and daily life throughout the year.

The Growing Service of Steel Service Centers

In many contexts the word steel has become synonymous with strength and durability, qualities illustrated by its use in such arduous industries as automotive, aerospace, construction, electronics and even shipbuilding. While it seems clear from these many uses, many are unaware of the incredible diversity of the material. Rather than one specific iron alloy, the steel family includes hundreds of permutations of the element, each precision designed for optimal performance in variable conditions. On top of this, finishing treatments and processing are commonly used to bolster the capabilities and capacities of steel products such as steel plates, strip and tubing. As much as 30% of all industrial steel products and 45% of specialty steel undergo some type of pre-processing before moving into full scale production. Most of this work is performed by the highly skilled professionals of steel service centers across the nation.

The Man and Woman’s World of Sheet Metal Fabrication

In 1966, James Brown began a ballad with the assertion that ‘this is a man’s world.’ The song goes on telling that men built the cars, trains and other essential elements of modern infrastructure. While this was true at the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 18th Century, by Brown’s time women played an important role in the industrial workforce. Though much later than the initial movement, the women’s industrial revolution came about at the beginning of WWII. Up until this point the positions suited to the fragile female form were domestic or clerical. With men leaving for war, however, this changed drastically as is demonstrated by one of the most iconic figures of the time: Rosie the Riveter. Depicted as a strong, but womanly sheet metal worker this figure inspired many women of the time to fill industrial vacancies and help to build countless planes, bombshells and other metal components needed in the war effort. Despite demands that they return to domestic roles at the end of the war, the presence of women in the industrial sector has risen steadily ever since. While men may still make up a larger percentage of the workforce in the field of sheet metal fabrication, an increasing number of modern women follow in the footprints of Rosie.

Wire Rope: A Rock Climber’s Best Friend

For the past year, my younger brother has been backpacking around New Zealand, sleeping in a tent, working on farms and climbing mountains. From the pictures I’ve seen, it’s been an amazing adventure in one of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth. The older sister in me, though, is always a little bit worried. I imagine him scaling the sides of steep rock formations or climbing his way to the top of Mount Cook, and I realize how much more of a thrill seeker he is than me. While I would prefer he take up a more relaxing outdoor sport like fishing, the fact that he’s well equipped for belaying allows my mind to rest easy. Instead of relying on a good grip and foot holding, most rock climbers these days use an effective system consisting of a harness, pulley and belay loop, which are all attached to a sturdy climbing rope. Belaying ensures the climbers won’t fall very far in case they slip off a rock.

From Fine Metal Stamping to Olympic Medal Winning

With the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics well underway, newsrooms around the globe follow a rising medals count. The elite athletes participating in the games and their eager nations watching from afar hope for the fulfillment of the ultimate Olympic dream, standing atop the podium as a gold, silver or bronze medal is draped around their neck. For many of the more than 5,500 Olympians representing more than 80 nations, receiving a medal will remain a dream, an ambition for future feats of athleticism perhaps. For a select 615 individuals, however, that dream will become a realization. 615 is the exact number of medallions created at The Royal Canadian Mint for the XXI Olympic Winter Games. Each of these was produced through unique metal stamping processes creating one of a kind medals for each athlete’s one of a kind moment.

Wire Mesh and Textile Weaving: Same Process, Different Results

Wire mesh is a pretty useful household material-not only does it help wash foods and drain pasta, it keeps pesky bugs out while allowing a cool summer breeze in. It functions decoratively inside cabinets and protects furniture and people from flying embers in a fireplace. It’s found in all sorts of filtration systems, vents, sifters and screens to keep the air/water flowing and the dust and particles trapped. For a moment, think about a world without any wire mesh. Bugs flying freely indoors and dirt in our water, life would be a lot filthier and less sanitary. Wire mesh is essentially composed of a series of thin, perpendicular wires that are woven or welded together. These two manufacturing processes determine the strength, complexity, and different applications in which wire mesh is used.

The Toughest Metals on Earth Get Stronger

Many of the strongest metal products available today like knives, swords, train parts, die casting molds and musical instruments are made of extremely resistant, durable and tough materials. Although metals like steel and iron are the best metals for the job, sometimes they need a little help to obtain the desired hardness and strength properties for the tough jobs that the automotive, weapons, transportation and military industries have in mind. In order to make these metals even stronger than they already are, the products and parts are altered physically, mechanically and even chemically to obtain certain properties.

Why Stainless Steel? Facts, Applications and Compositions by Eagle Stainless Tube

The many unique values provided by stainless steel make it a powerful candidate in materials selection. Engineers, specifiers and designers often underestimate or overlook these values because of what is viewed as the higher initial ost of stainless steel. However, over the total life of a project, stainless is often the best value option. Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel which contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. It is the addition of chromium that gives the steel its unique stainless, corrosion resisting properties. The chromium content of the steel allows the formation of a tough, adherent, invisible, corrosion-resisting chromium oxide film on the steel surface. If damaged mechanically or chemically, this film is self-healing, rovided that oxygen, even in very small amounts, is present. The corrosion resistance and other useful properties of the steel are enhanced by increased chromium content and the addition of other elements such as molybdenum, nickel and nitrogen.

A Guided Tour of Wire Forms and Their Applications

From purely artistic and decorative to entirely functional, wire forms can come in a seemingly innumerable range of shapes and complexities. From simple wire ‘S’ hooks and peg board hooks to a complete rack of wire shelving or a rotating wire retail display, manufacturers that offer wire forming services are equipped to create many essential wire products for industrial, commercial and consumer use.

Forging: An Ancient Art that Remains an Essential Metalworking Process

It’s not by magic that forging has survived and thrived as technology has advanced. The heart of forging has not changed since its origin in ancient Egypt. From the pre-industrial age on into today’s sophisticated forging facilities, the essence of forging remains the same: how it affects the structure of metals. The results are unequaled in any other form of metalworking. Discussing the different types of forging can get very complicated. Putting it more simply: heating the metal until it’s malleable breaks down the originally coarse grain structure, and then ‘kneading’ it between dies elongates the grains and they recrystallize in a new finer granular structure…

Investment Casting Soars Despite Misconceptions

Although one of the world’s oldest metal fabricating technologies, investment casting (sometimes known as ‘lost wax’ casting) has in recent years been subjected to a few misconceptions, ironically these fallacies have probably caused many who could have benefited most from this process to rule it out…

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