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What Are Metal Standards and Why Are They Important?

When sourcing metals, it is of critical importance to have a uniform and consistent means of assuring metal properties meet the desired performance characteristics. Learn more about metal standards in our informative eBook.

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Metal Standards

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Understanding Copper Grades

Copper is one of the oldest, most versatile metals in the world. There are different grades of copper, which are categorized based on their composition. Since 1985, Continental Steel & Tube Company has been one of the world’s top suppliers of high-quality metals, including various copper tubing grades. Here you’ll learn about the different copper grades available and their typical applications.  Copper Grades From Continental Steel Copper grades are categorized depending on their composition of copper and various alloying elements, such as zinc, lead, nickel, and beryllium. The different grades also denote the manufacturing process used to produce it.  Continental Steel offers the following copper grades: C101. Oxygen-Free Electronic (OFE) Copper, C10100 C102. Oxygen-Free Copper, C10200 C120. Deoxidized Low Phosphorus (DLP) Copper, C12000 C122. Deoxidized High Phosphorus (DHP) Copper, C12200 C151. Zirconium Copper, C15100 C182. Chromium Copper C194. High-Strength Modified (HSM) Copper, C19400 C220. Commercial Bronze (90/10), C22000 C230. Red Brass (85/15), C23000 C270. Yellow Brass (65/35), C27000 C314. Leaded Commercial Bronze C330. Low-Leaded Brass, C33000 C332. High-Leaded Brass, C33200 C360 Free Machining Brass C435. Trumpet Brass (80/20), C43500 C443. Admiralty Brass (Arsenical), C44300 C464. Naval Brass C510. Phosphor Bronze (5), C51000 C521. Phosphor Bronze (8), C52100 C693. Lead-free Brass C706. Copper Nickel (90/10), C70600 C710. Copper Nickel (80/20), C71000 C715. Copper Nickel (70/30), C71500 C740. Nickel Silver (10), C74000 C752. Nickel Silver (18), C75200 C836. Leaded Red Brass C857. Leaded Yellow Brass C863. Manganese Bronze C693. Lead-free Brass C89835. Bismuth Tin Bronze C903. Tin Bronze C954. Aluminum Bronze C955. Nickel-Aluminum Bronze C959. Aluminum Bronze More grades are available upon request Copper Grade Applications Able to be cold or hot worked, copper is a versatile metal across a wide range of industries and applications: Automotive: Copper tubing is an essential component of many of today’s automotive components, specifically copper-nickel brake tubing, heat exchangers, and radiators. Electrical: Because of its excellent conductivity, copper is an ideal material for a wide range of electrical applications, enhancing energy efficiency and power quality. Copper is commonly used in wires, windings, cables, transformers, electric motors, printed circuit boards, electromagnets, heat sinks, and busbars. Fuel Gas: Copper tubes are excellent materials for natural gas piping systems. Marine: Copper’s corrosion resistance, biofouling resistance, and strength make it perfect for a wide range of marine applications. Machining: Copper alloy rods and bars are ideal for machined products. Telecommunications: Modern telecommunications systems rely on copper wiring as a low-cost, high-performance solution. Industrial heat exchangers – Provides thermal conductivity, strength and corrosion protection Musical Instruments: Horns, trumpets, trombones and saxophones Common Uses for Copper Copper alloys have a long history of use because copper is easy to machine and turn into various forms. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, resistant to corrosion, and naturally antimicrobial. These properties make the metal ideal for: Electrical wiring: Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and is often used in electrical wiring. Roofing: Copper is a popular roofing material due to its durability and weather resistance. Pipes and plumbing: Copper is commonly used for pipes and plumbing due to its corrosion resistance and antibacterial properties. Cookware: Copper cookware is popular because the material effectively conducts heat. Decorative items: Because of its aesthetic appeal, copper is often used for decorative items such as sculptures and jewelry. Electrical components: Copper is often used in electrical components such as resistors, capacitors, and heat exchangers. Continental Steel: Your Copper Grade Partner Copper is essential in many industries, and various copper grades offer application-specific properties. At Continental Steel, we have a long history of providing high-quality copper products for electrical, welding, heat transfer, and other applications. As a globally leading supplier of copper tubing in various grades, sizes, and shapes, we are standing by to help you find the right solution for your project. We are ISO 9001:2015 and AS9120B:2016 certified to provide the highest quality products to the aerospace and other critical markets. Contact us today to ask about or order our copper tubing products.

Powdered Metals Used for Forging

Powdered metal is a fine powder made from metal granules. The metal substrate is atomized and refined to create a consistent, highly specialized powder. Manufacturers use this material to compress and sinter thin layers of metal into a final shape. Powdered metal manufacturing is a popular, cost-effective alternative to traditional manufacturing methods, especially for parts with complex geometries. Learn more about how powdered metals are used for forging and what metals work best. Where Are Powdered Metals Used? Virtually every industry uses parts made from powdered metals. Industries often use powdered metals to produce prototypes for testing and design revisions using additive manufacturing. Powdered metals can also be used for fully functional parts used in harsh environments and critical applications depending on the metal's heat treatments and finishes. Some of the most common applications for powdered metals include: Aerospace equipment parts Automotive parts Biomedical devices Brake linings  Electrical contacts Light bulb filaments Marine components Spacecraft heat shields Using Powdered Metals for Forging In forging, powdered metals are pressed and sintered to create a pre-form. Then the part is heated and hot forged, which results in a full-density part that exhibits enhanced mechanical and metallurgical properties. Forging is an ideal manufacturing process not only because it enhances certain features of the part, but because it offers a cost-effective and time-saving method for creating various products. Parts made with forging exhibit high ductility and improved resistance to load fatigue and impact. The process is also compatible with a wide range of materials to suit the needs of various applications. Best Materials for Forging Forging can be used with numerous powdered metals, each of which offers its owns unique characteristics. Some of the most popularly used powdered metals for forging include: Carbon Steel Carbon steel forgings can include chromium, cobalt, nickel, titanium, and many other elements in addition to carbon. The amount of carbon determines the hardness. Forging carbon steel is cost-effective and is most suitable for applications that don’t require high strength or high operating temperatures. Alloy Steel Alloy steel can include traces of many different metal elements. Each unique alloy has different degrees of wear resistance, hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. Microalloy Steel Microalloy steel contains small amounts of alloying components to increase certain desirable properties while reducing production costs. Stainless Steel Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant due to having a composition of at least 10.5% chromium. Stainless steel is also durable, easy to work with, recyclable, long-lasting, and resistant to extreme temperatures. These qualities make stainless steel appealing for a diverse range of applications. Aluminum Aluminum is lightweight with an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Forged aluminum components exhibit fracture toughness, resistance to stress corrosion cracking, and tolerance to low temperatures. Titanium Titanium is a strong, sturdy metal that can resist physical damage, heat damage, and corrosion. However, titanium requires fine-tuned handling and temperature control during the forging process. Your Source for Powdered Metals for Forging At Continental Steel & Tube Company, we supply our clients with specialty metals and powdered metals for use across a diverse array of industries. Our company is ISO 9001:2015 and certified, and we have over 20 years of experience quickly fulfilling orders with high-quality metals, including: Ferro Alloys and Manganese Metals. Ferro Boron, Ferro Molybdenum, Ferro Chrome (HC, LC) Molybdenum Oxide, Ferro Niobium, Ferro Manganese (LC), Ferro Silicon, Ferro Tungsten, Ferro Titanium, Silico Manganese, Ferro Vanadium, Electrolytic Manganese Metal Minor Metals. Rhenium, Titanium, Tungsten, Chromium, Tantalum, Molybdenum, Zirconium, Niobium, Hafnium, Cerium, Yttrium, Lanthanum Master alloys. Nickel boron, nickel magnesium, and many others We have distribution centers in major manufacturing areas across the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory of titanium, steels, alloys, and more. You can also request a quote to start your order.

A Guide to Duplex Stainless Steel

Duplex stainless steels come with numerous benefits compared to other stainless steel alloys. For instance, they provide high levels of yield and impact strength, along with excellent corrosion resistance, the ability to hold up in temperatures ranging from -50° C to 250° C, and optimal weldability and machinability. They're also more cost-effective than other more expensive alloys. In this blog post, we'll cover the different types of duplex stainless steel, including their structure and applications. Introduction to Duplex Steels Duplex stainless steels feature an even combination of ferritic and austenitic microstructures. The alloy’s microstructure defines the atoms’ crystal structure, which is crucial in determining the alloy's specific properties. While 3xx and 4xx stainless steels contain solely austenitic or ferritic structures respectively, duplex stainless steels feature both, combining the best features of each structure. Duplex and Super Duplex Stainless Steels Based on their specific needs, different applications can use either duplex or super duplex stainless steel alloys. Duplex Stainless Steels Pulp and paper manufacturing applications first used duplex stainless steels in the 1930s, replacing 3xx grades to provide more corrosion resistance and strength. Originally, the designation for duplex stainless steels was UNS S31803 (F51), but later enhancements made to increase corrosion resistance led to a re-designation of UNS S32205 (F60).  Super Duplex Stainless Steels Off-shore oil and gas exploration and other developments requiring improved alloys led to the creation of super duplex stainless steels. Specifically, Ferralium came first in 1967 as the original super duplex stainless steel. Following the launch of this alloy, Alloy 32760 and Alloy 32750 came along with varying compositions. Applications for Duplex and Super Duplex Stainless Steels Many applications use duplex and super duplex stainless steel alloys. The following are some of the most common applications. Oil & Gas Downhole tooling, subsea and well equipment, pumps, and valves use super duplex stainless steels. H2S-containing environments such as sour service wells also frequently use these materials. Bolts and Fasteners Many bolts and fasteners feature super duplex stainless steel construction. This is due to the material's high strength and ease of hardening for added strength.  Pollution Control Scrubbers Pumps, fans, and precipitators often use super duplex stainless steels. They offer superior corrosion resistance in systems using seawater and acids. Marine Applications Shafts, seals, rudders, and propellers frequently use super duplex stainless steel. Specifically, they will use this metal if austenitic stainless steels such as XM-19 are incompatible with an application. Chemical Process Industry Chemical processes often use phosphoric, sulphuric, and nitric acid during production. Super duplex stainless steels offer the wear, corrosion, and abrasion resistance needed in these applications. Vegetable Processing Equipment used for processing vegetables and grains often features duplex stainless steels. Ferralium 255 offers reliable resistance to wear and corrosion in sugar cane processing, centrifuges, and mixers. Water Treatment Some water treatment applications for super duplex stainless steel include swimming pools, desalination, and sewage treatment. Many of these environments use seawater, brackish, or contaminated solutions that require sufficient corrosion resistance. Paper and Pulp Components used to produce pulp and paper are often made with super duplex stainless steels. While duplex and lean duplex alloys are sometimes used, areas at a greater risk of failure typically use super duplex alloys. Pump Shafts Super duplex stainless steels often appear in pump shaft components. The popularity of these alloys in these applications comes down to the material's combined strength and resistance to wear and corrosion. Reliable Metal Material Services from Continental Steel Both duplex and super duplex stainless steels offer plenty of benefits that make them popular in many applications. If you would like high-quality metal material services, the experts at Continental Steel & Tube can provide fabrication, forging, exporting, and industrial metal processing services based on your individual project needs. To learn more about our service offerings, contact us today or request a quote for our services at any time.