Engineering High Quality Alloys

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The hardware industry relies on the use of high quality stainless steel, one of the most sought after alloys in the world. With a composition that consists of carbon and iron, steel is highly desirable for its physical properties. However, the addition of other pure metals could significantly enhance the quality of this alloy. For example, corrosion resistance is an important characteristic for hardware components that will be exposed to high levels of humidity or direct moisture from water. Stainless steel does not have great resistance to rusting, which is primarily caused by the iron composition. 

Pure metals such as Nickel, Chromium and Copper significantly minimize corrosive effects in alloys. Trace amounts of these metals could be integrated into the composition of steel that is used to make hardware for marine use. To further enhance damage from moist air, steel surfaces might be covered in thin layers of waterproof coatings. 

High quality metals should be relatively easy to cut, grind and compress with heavy-duty industrial machinery. To make some alloys more machine friendly, certain pure elements are added. For example, sulfur is added to make the texture of most metals relatively soft for machining applications. 

Some hardware components need to be installed in settings that have very little friction. Therefore, Teflon coatings could be applied all over the surface of alloys. Teflon creates a smooth and slippery texture on just about any metal. The coefficient of friction between Teflon and most materials is very close to zero. By contrast, some hardware is engineered to maximize traction with other materials. Therefore, rubberized finishes might be added to stainless steel and other high quality alloys. 

Hardware components such as strap hinges often subject to heavy wear and tear. Manufacturers encourage users to regularly add oil to hinges and other moving parts in such hinges. Additionally, gaskets and other fittings might be used to minimize damage to static components that experience a lot of grinding. Hinges should also be secured with rust proof fasteners with the appropriate head sizes that could be easily adjusted or removed when necessary.

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