Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's the Difference?

One of my first official lessons as a newbie in the Metals Industry was tackling some of the “What’s the Difference” questions.  This of course could apply to just about everything in the industry but I am specifically referring to learning the difference between Solid Bar, Cored Bar and Rectangular shapes.  I had to remember terms like ID and OD, width and diameter.  (Truthfully, my head would spin!) It did seem to me that it took forever to finally be able to distinguish them apart.  But thankfully I had some patient co-workers who would repeatedly explain the difference and eventually I got it.  Now all these years later I have found I am not alone!  It is amazing how many people will call looking to get a quote on material or just need some help and they too are asking, “What’s the Difference”?  It is very comforting. 

So for my first blogpost, I figured I’d pay homage to all the “newbies” with a little lesson on what is the difference between a Solid Bar, Cored Bar and Plate shape.  And what the heck I might throw in another shape for kicks!
SOLIDBAR

SOLID BAR
I'll tackle the easiest shape first - Solid Bar.  From the picture you can see that this shape is round and it's solid!  Hence the term "Solid Bar" and it's also referred to as Round Bar.  Solid Bar only has two dimensions to remember  --  a Diameter or also seen as "Ø" and a Length

A quick note on length - most bars in Bronze & Copper Alloys are available in any length up to 105" or 144" long.  But sometimes special arrangements can be made with a mill for longer sizes depending on your quantity. 
RECTANGLE
RECTANGLE
Next is Rectangle aka Plate.  This shape has 3 dimensions that you'll need to know.
1.) Thickness (or) Thick2.) Width (or) Wide
3.) Length (or) Long
Some people indicate these dimensions in millimeters and some in inches.  It just depends on where your from.  Also, some people won't even indicate a Length (or how long of a piece they need) but rather just supply you with a total weight (lbs) that they need.  That works too!

 CORED BAR
Then we have Cored Bar.  Oh, Cored Bar.  This definitely was the hardest for me to remember.  Some tried to give me the "Donut Analogy" but for some reason I still didn't get it.  It wasn't until I actually held a piece of Cored Bar in my hand that I got it.  And at that moment I was embarrassed. After all it's Cored!  With this shape, there are 3 main dimensions that you need to know:
COREDBAR2
1.) ID or Inside Diameter
2.) OD or Outside Diameter
3.) Length or Long
Simple enough right?  I just always got confused as to which was the OD and which was the ID.  So, I had to remember that the OD is always the larger dimension of the two.  Here's a tip:  These same dimensions are also true for Bushings (Plane or Sleeve Bushings). 






EXTRA - FLANGE BUSHING
Now for the "kicks" that I mentioned...here's a Flanged Bushing shape.  This one usually gets a lot of people.  They know to look for the ID, OD and Length of the Bushing, but they usually forget about the Flange OD & Flange thickness.  Take a look!
  FLANGEBUSHING2 The most important dimensions to pay attention to are: 
1.) ID or Inner Diameter of Bushing
2.) OD or Outer Diameter (or) Body OD
3.) Length of Bushing
4.) Flange OD (Outer Diameter)
5.) Flange Thickness
These particular bushings are available in a wide variety of alloys and they can even be self-lubricated (notice the black circle "graphite plugging" throughout the bushing) to make them easy to use and as maintenance free as possible.They are usually available off the shelf and pretty economical when ordered in large quantities.  But they can be Made to Order too using a print or drawing. 
I hope you found this post useful and informative.  I know that seeing the shapes and dimensions together was a great tool for me in understanding what was the difference!
PS:  Above photos are all courtesy Atlas Bronze and copyright protected

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