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Case Study 4:
Free Machining


Our case studies showcase Smiths Advanced Metals capabilites Can a particular metal offer you considerable savings in the machining process? In the case of Free Machining Alloys, the answer is most certainly yes.

Using the right kind of material can be critical for your business, especially if we are talking about substantial and repetitive machining processes. Free machining alloys can produce substantial cost savings in the machining process when compared to standard alloys and pure metals.

Read the case study below to see how you can make savings for your business:

The Problem

A fishing reel manufacturer, using 5" diameter HE30 (6082) bar, was machining away 85% of the billet which resulted in lengthy machining time, inadequate surface finish and decorative anodising. In addition, the swarf was difficult to clear.

The Solution

We recommended the bar was replaced with SigmaChip A6 free machining aluminium alloy, which also has superior anodising qualities.

Customer Benefits

  • Machining time reduced by 30%
  • Productivity was improved and capacity increased
  • Decorative anodising was superior
  • The swarf was far easier to clear
  • Improved surface finish
  • The improved appearance made the reels easier to sell

Other Free Machining Products

Another customer traded from standard Grade 303 Stainless Steel to free machining SigmaChip S3 Stainless Steel, achieving a reduction in cycle time fro 65 seconds to 45 seconds.

Copper users may wish to consider trying machining SigmaChip C1 instead of C101.

Conclusions

When substantial machining of a component is needed, particularly for repetition work, a free machining alloy can produce very substantial cost savings on cutting time and swarf removal.

Standard alloys and pure metals tend to produce continuous swarf (see picture) which can clog the machine and require an operator to remove it manually. The free machining derivatives, however, produce swarf which falls away from the machine or is easily washed away by a coolant.


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