Thursday, March 9, 2017

March Plate Madness!

Hello everybody!
It's that time of year again...March Plate Madness! While one doesn't typically associate Bronze Plate with the same type of hysteria that Basketball creates, for some of us, it's pretty exciting!  Of course, if Bronze was still made of Copper & Arsenic then we might find some customers truly experiencing madness. But luckily humans wised up and replaced that Arsenic with Tin!  

     So why is Plate so neat?  In my personal opinion, I think that of all the Bronze Shapes (i.e. Cored Bar or Solid Bar) plate is the most versatile in both Method of Manufacture & Secondary Processes.  Like I said, this is just my personal opinion so if I have offended anyone, my apologies.

    The plate that I usually come in contact with is made from one of the following methods of manufacture: Continuous Casting, Sand Casting, Hot Rolled, Cold Rolled and/or Forged.  And check this out... the method of manufacture depends on the Alloy, Material Specification, size range needed, quantity and lead time.  Crazy, right?!
Please join me as I jump into the wonderful world of Plate and explore the amazing Secondary Processes that can be done with it. In this weeks post I will detail the following list of topics.

3 "D" Saw cutting
Ground Plate = less time = less $ lost
The Unique Diamondized Naval Brass Plate
Graphite Plugging
Water Jet Cutting
Decorative Purposes

I hope you will find this as fascinating as I do and join me in the love for Bronze Plate!

3 “D” Saw Cutting
Sure a lot of companies can saw cut and yes the cutting itself is neat to watch.  But it just so happens that Atlas Bronze is one of the only suppliers that can Saw Cut a Big Block of bronze plate on all (3) sides:  thickness, width and length.  Where in the past, a customer would have to Sand Cast a piece to a non-standard thickness or have several hundred (or even thousand) pounds run in a mill, depending on the alloy -- we eliminate that need by offering this specialty cutting.

For example:  Take C93200 Plate -

What if you needed a 1.125" thick x 2" wide x 40" long BUT the mill only has standard sizes that they can offer.  They would offer you the next available size up -- 1.25" thick x 2" wide.......

Yes this can work but it's a lot extra material left over from milling that plate down.  A lot of extra material = more $ spent on the bar(s) + all that extra time invested in the milling process. 

This is where Atlas Bronze comes into play!

We take one of our Big Blocks-- in C93200 we have (2) different sizes to choose from:  4" thick x 12" wide (or) 6" thick x 8" wide.  We take the block and then cut it on ALL (3) sides to get the thickness that the customer needs.

So the customer winds up with the desired dimensions of:  1.125" thick x 2" wide x 40" long.

Ground Plate = less time = less $ lost
This is where we take C93200 (Bearing Bronze Plate) or C95400 (Aluminum Bronze Plate) and grind it top & bottom to a +/-.002 on the thickness.  Why does this matter?  Because it reduces the amount of time one needs to mill or grind a piece down -- less time to machine = less money wasted.  Grinding Plate down is just a plain smart secondary process for the machine shop and end user alike. 
Although I only mention C93200 & C95400, we can actually surface grind any of our Plate alloys that are in stock.

The Unique Diamonized Naval Brass Plate
As far as I know there is only (1) machine in the world that can produce the "Diamonized Finish" This is one of the "prettiest" alloys we stock. It is stunning to look at and it truly does look like you are staring into a mirror.  That aside, its functionality is impressive as well.  It has excellent wear properties, corrosion resistance and softness.  It has a gauge tolerance of +0.000, -0.004 and much more!

Graphite Plugging
This secondary process, which is also considered Self Lubrication, is great when standard lubrication is impractical, including heavy load, high temperature applications. You do wind up spending a bit more money by having the plates plugged but now you have permanent lubrication built into the part.  Thus eliminating the need to stop the machine and re-apply lubrication. 

Less Time = More Money!

Water jet Cutting
I love the idea that you can take a rectangle sheet and make them circles.  Okay this is hokey but it kind of reminds me of crazy Spirograph toy that I used to play with as a kid (ahh…who am I kidding, I still love to play with them!).  So why is Water jet cutting a great secondary process, take a look:

Water jet cutting has been around since the early seventies but was of little value to engineers as then it was only capable of cutting thin gasket and foam materials. Abrasive jets extended the concept about 10 years later.

Both technologies use the principle of pressurizing water to extremely high pressures, and allowing the water to escape through a very small opening (typically called the "orifice" or "jewel"). Water jets use the beam of water exiting the orifice (or jewel) to cut soft materials like confectionery and foam etc. but are not effective for cutting harder materials.  Abrasive jets use that same beam of water to accelerate abrasive particles to speeds fast enough to cut through much harder materials.

We frequently get requests for circles in Brass Plates calling for thicknesses that otherwise couldn’t be achieved in any other fashion, except to water jet.  

Decorative Purposes
Over the past few years we have supplied plate (all different alloys) that would wind up being included in some of the neatest places. An example of this would be we supplied plate that would be polished, water jet cut and then installed at the Main Entrance at Macy's Herald Square. (see below)

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We have supplied brass sheets that would be the decorative sheets to escalators and elevators, window and building facades, (such as the Novartis Building in New York) and much more.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit with me.  Until next time, my metal loving friends...

DISCLAIMER:  While Maranatha Now, Inc. dba Atlas Bronze strives to make the content on this blog as informational and educational as possible,  Maranatha Now, Inc. dba Atlas Bronze makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this blog, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site.