What Is Water Jet Cutting?

water jet cuttingThere are hardly any tools that are used in virtually every industry from mining to aerospace. The water
jet cutter, however, is just such a tool. Regarded as one of the most versatile tools in use today, the
water jet cutter, or waterjet, is a high-powered implement that can be used on almost anything.
Interested in knowing more? Keep reading for some great information about water jet cutters.

What is the tool?

Essentially, a waterjet uses an intensely pressured stream of water, either alone or with an abrasive
additive, to cut through a material. The pressure of the stream and fineness of the abrasion leaves a
smooth and precise cut. The stream must be very narrow in order to offer that precision and not destroy
the surrounding material. Though the process can be slow and costly, it offers one of the best precision
cuts of any tool available to the mainstream market today.

What can I use it with?

The waterjet can be used on pretty much any material in almost any industry. It can cut stone, tile, and
glass just as well as it can cut fabrics, foam, leather, and plastic. One of the only material restrictions for
the water jet cutter is ceramics. This type of material is quite brittle and doesn’t usually stand up to the
pressure of the water stream.

How does it work?

The waterjet relies heavily on an intensifier pump to create the necessary pressure for cutting through
tough materials. The pump utilizes a hydraulic pressure system and a high horsepower motor to drive
the action.

Water Jet Cutting Overview

Basically, fresh water is introduced to the low-pressure water input and then sent through the inlet
filter. From there, it is sent to the intensifier pump. The pump adds pressure to the hydraulic fluid,
signaling the pistons to move back and forth, which then pressurizes the water in the pump. The water
then flows from the pump to what is called an accumulator, a device that smooths out any ripples in the
water. Finally, the water is forced through a pressured tubing to the head of the device. The water is
controlled by the on/off valve here at the head. At this point, an abrasive component can be added to
the water in a mixing chamber.

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Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

The Best Materials to Use in Low Temperature Environments

Cold elements bring along plenty of challenges. One of the more complex of those challenges is knowing what materials can be used under which weather conditions. While you may not think that it can ever be too cold for most metals, that couldn’t be further from the truth. These are a few of the materials you can use under extremely low temperatures.

Aluminum and Titanium Alloys

-45° Celsius is the first temperature to keep in mind when choosing materials for cold conditions. This is one of the lowest temperatures reached naturally, as well as a common temperature for commercial industries. Aluminum and titanium alloys are an appropriate choice for things expected to reach this temperature.

Low Carbon Steels

-75° to -100° Celsius temperatures are cold enough that low carbon steels are typically the most reliable choice. Low carbon steel containing 3.5% nickel or higher is ideal. Aluminum and titanium alloys may also be suitable, but they will be less dependable at temperatures this low. Because of this lowered dependability, it’s not recommended to use aluminum or titanium alloys for critical items.

Nickle Based Materials

-196° Celsius temperatures require metals with high nickel content. Specifically, a nickel content of 20-25%. Steels containing that amount of nickel are the best option, although you can find other metals containing 20-25% nickel too. Aluminum-magnesium alloys are also a good choice. These alloys are less susceptible to breaking, even after welding has occurred.

High Alloy Steels

For conditions lower than -196° Celsius, high alloy steels are the only metal that can do the job. This temperature range also includes the liquid versions of helium and hydrogen which are a big area of business for many industries. If a weld is needed at temperatures this low, you’ll need to use low carbon variants to ensure the dependability of the weld. Alloys used at temperatures this low typically feature 18-21% chromium and 9-14° nickel. Energy storage and nuclear fusion projects are the most common to require metals that can withstand these extremely cold temperatures.

If you’re unsure what materials you need to be using under certain weather conditions, it’s always best to ask a professional. The exact variable of the location of the materials may change the answer of what you need and what a certain material is able to withstand. Contact us today to find out more about choosing the right material for your low-temperature environments.

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Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

What are the Best Metals for Conducting Heat?

Heat Conduction & MetalsMost of the modern appliances we use today, such as water heaters and cookware, require good heat conductivity in order to work. Because of this, most are constructed out of various types of metal. However, some metals, such as alloys, conduct heat better than others which can help these appliances work well for your needs.

What is an Alloy Metal?

An alloy metal is a mixture of one or two metals with non-metallic elements. They tend to not only conduct heat better because of this combination they are also more durable and rust-resistant.

Why It’s Important to Look at Metals That Conduct Heat Well

All metals have their own unique properties which is why it’s important to look at each individually. For instance, if you’re on the search for the best metal for cookware, you’ll need a different type of heat conductivity compared to that of a home appliance metal.

Metals That Conduct Heat the Best

Silver

Silver is one of the best metals for conducting heat because it works as a powerful reflector. Due to this, silver is found in numerous items, such as circuit boards and batteries.

Copper

Copper is yet another good conductor of heat because it absorbs heat quickly and holds it for a long period of time. Besides this, copper is also corrosion-resistant. Because of its versatility, copper is often found in cookware, computers, and heating systems.

Aluminum

While not as strong as copper, aluminum is still very good at conducting heat. Unlike copper, it tends to be less expensive, which is why it’s often used to make cookware. In addition to this, aluminum is used in LED lights as a heat sink because it helps the lights work more efficiently without overheating.

Brass

Brass is a very tough metal and can be heated to temperatures as high as 1,720-degrees Fahrenheit. This alloy metal is a mix of copper and zinc which helps it to conduct heat well. Because of its strong heat absorption, brass is also able to instantly destroy germs, making it a popular metal to use for doorknobs and similar items that are often touched.

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Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

Cold-Formed Or Hot Rolled Steel?

HR or CF Steel - Markham MetalsAt the beginning of every new job, project, or contract it is important to know which materials you’ll need and which materials will suit the specific job at hand. This is especially important if you are a contractor that frequently bids on projects, as it is imperative to have not only the lowest cost to build, but also have the materials that will not only look aesthetically pleasing but materials that can also stand the test of time against any exterior conditions as well as wear and tear.

Cold-Formed & Hot Rolled Steel, What’s The Difference?

Okay, so your first initial thought might be if both products are made from steel what is the actual difference? While this initial thought is correct as these products start off as simple steel, the difference lies in the finished product, as well as the varied uses for each applicable product. Learn more about how CF & HR Steel are similar in nature but differ vastly in terms of use.

Cold-Formed Steel

Cold-Formed steel is a straightforward metal forming process that greatly strengthens steel products. These products are made by rolling or pressing steel into semi-finished or finished goods at relatively low temperatures

Here are some benefits of using CF Steel:

  • Won’t Shrink or Split
  • Formed Without Heat
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Resits Warping
  • Fire Resistant
  • Known for strength and ductility

Learn more about the CF Steel Products that we carry by Clicking Here!

Hot Rolled Steel

Hot rolled steel is processed at a mill with high temperatures. It is great for projects that do not demand exact dimensions as the steel will shrink as it cools. This type of steel is good for general contractors as the process less time consuming and less expansive than Cold Rolled Steel. Hot rolled steel is frequently used for laying rail lines, I-beams, and anywhere where precise dimensions are not required.

Here are some benefits of using HR Steel:

  • Less expensive than CF Steel
  • High Rate of Production
  • Useful in large scale industrial projects

Learn more about the HR Steel Products that we carry by Clicking Here!

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Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

What is Metal Fabrication?

Markham Metals FabricationMetal Fabrication is the process of shaping metal material into a finished & useable product

Fabrication begins with partially finished products or raw material to create a final product. To determine which fabrication processes to choose, it depends on the content and desired outcome. Stock and custom products both use fabrication as well. Popular metals and their alloys are used to create custom metal fabricated products. The most common types of metals include steel, brass, aluminum, copper, nickel, iron, and more. To begin a new product, fabricators start with stock metal components such as sheet metal and other similar parts.  Fabrication shops are specialized fabricators that use various metals, equipment, and contractors to get a project finished. Fab shops complete projects by drafting, planning the project, and performing multiple fabrication processes. Also, the option of providing a finish at the end may be available.

To get a better understanding of what metal fabrication is, we will list and describe the different types of processes. Then, we will explain how to choose a fabricator and seek professional assistance.

Metal Fabrication Processes – 11 Types

Depending on the purpose of a project and its materials, the chosen fabrication process must be the right fit for the end product. In metal fabrication, there are eleven types, with some products requiring more than one fabrication method.  The most common types of fabrication processes are:

Casting

Commonly used for mass production, this metal fabrication process starts with a custom mold. Molten metal is dispensed into the mold, then cools, forming into the custom shape, also called permanent mold casting. Die-casting is also an option, which fabricators use for high-speed applications.

Semi-casting is available as a permanent mold casting can be difficult to remove products from the molds. Semi-casting is more manageable, expandable, and less expensive to remove.

Sand-casting is a final process that uses sand to mold patterns, appropriate for the liquid metal. It’s a slower process, yet economical, suitable for larger metal projects.

Cutting

This fabrication process cuts metal pieces into smaller sections. It’s the first phase in lengthy fabrications or the only process. Various methods are used, such as waterjet cutting, plasma arc cutting, power scissors, and laser cutting. Computer cutters, manual, and power tools are used to cut the metal.

Die-cutting is an option that slices metal using a die. Also, flatbed die-cutting is useful for thicker metals and uses a die to carve shapes. Last but not least, rotary die-cutting uses a cylinder-shaped die to cut the metal.

Drawing

When metal is stretched and put into a shaped die, its considered drawing, forcing the metal into a thin shape. Fabricators perform this process at room temperature, known as cold drawing. However, to reduce force, heated metals work too. When a product has more depth than its radius, it’s considered deep drawing. Common shapes include a cylinder or cube.

Folding

The handling of metal to bend or fold is called folding.  The most frequent machinery used to manipulate sheet metal is the break press and the folder. Hammering is also an option to bend sheet metal.

Forging

Forging is known as an old method of fabrication, using compression to manipulate metal. The different types of forging include cold, warm, and hot.  Cold forging happens at room temperature. Warm forging is between room temperature and near the melting point. Hot forging occurs if the metal is at a melting point.

Extrusion

When sheet metal forces its way through an open or closed die, it’s called extrusion. The main objective is to get a cavity, or hollow shape, similar to a pipe. It’s common for long pieces or continuous pieces of short parts.  Cold extrusion occurs when the process takes place at room temperature, which strengthens the product. Hot extrusion is the same as cold extrusion, except the temperature is much higher.

Machining

Shaping the metal by removing excessive metal material around a product is called machining. There are three types of machining: drilling, milling, and turning. Drilling creates holes by cutting into the material. Milling removes material until the product you want starts to form. Turning creates different shapes, such as cylinders.

Punching

Punching sheet metal entails turrets on a punch press forcibly hitting into a die, creating holes. Punch presses are mechanical, manual or done with a computer.

Shearing

Cutting by using two tools, providing an extended, straight segment is called shearing. There is an upper blade and a lower blade. The upper blade pushes down the metal on the lower blade, breaking it into smaller pieces. Shearing is ideal for uniquely shaped pieces and small materials.

Stamping

Just as the name suggests, stamping is the process that’s similar to punching. Except, it indents the sheet metal, which is ideal for letters, shapes, and images. There are two types of stamping machines, mechanical and hydraulic. For specific shapes, the sheet metal must be a quarter-inch thick.

Welding

Probably the most popular metal fabrication process to date, welding joins multiple pieces of metal together through pressurized heat.

Deciding on a Professional Fabricator

It’s essential to choose the right custom metal fabricator to ensure efficiency, save time, and money.  Find a fabricator that has the experience, the right tools, resources, and materials to bring your project to life.

Contact Us Today For A Quick & Easy Quote

Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.