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!

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. 
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!

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:
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). 

Now for the "kicks" that I'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


  1. Thanks for sharing the best information and suggestions, I love your content, and they are very nice and very useful to us. If you are looking for the best Inconel 625 Plate, then visit Tarang Steel. I appreciate the work you have put into this.

  2. This is a great article with lots of informative resources. I appreciate your work this is really helpful for everyone. Check out our website Monel 400 Tube for more Oshwin Overseas related info!

  3. Your blog is awfully appealing. I am contented with your post. I regularly read your blog and its very helpful. If you are looking for the best ss 304 seamless pipe suppliers in mumbai, then visit Perfect Impex. Thanks! I enjoyed this blog post.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Keep sharing these types of information, that All suggestions in your blog is helpful for us. If anyone search related best services Stainless Steel Flanges manufacturer in India then must visit Regal Sales Corporation.

  6. I found your blog on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. You can also visit 2 way stainless steel ball valve manufacturer in india for more Rache process equipment LLP related information and knowledge, Keep up the great work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.