Materials & Process

Shot peening, in which a metal surface is bombarded with a precisely controlled stream of steel, glass or ceramic beads, can double the life of some components. The process, used here to treat the roots of aeroengine fan blades, plastically deforms the su


Swedish steel shapes up for laser cutting

A high tensile steel developed to suit the laser cutting process provides the same cutting properties as more expensive steels and eliminates the need to hold special stocks, says Swedish maker SSAB Tunnplat.

Complying with DIN 2310 part 5, Domex steel can be used as rolled and does not produce oxide scale. The smooth, even surface absorbs laser energy efficiently. Low sulphur, macro slag and alloy content ensure a high speed, high quality cut with minimal burring.

The benefits of laser cutting include the ability to produce parts to shape with little finishing or material waste.


New grades of epoxy glass laminate provide high mechanical strength at temperatures up to 130 degrees C, compared to resins developed for the circuit board industry which can lose rigidity at 110 degrees C.

Bakelaque G10 is a general purpose laminate providing good electrical insulation and resistance to chemicals. Technolaque grades operate at temperatures exceeding 175 degrees C, providing a lower cost alternative to glass mat laminates in such items as conveyor links for convection drying ovens.


Polishing can be eliminated on tube made with a brilliant mirror finish in Switzerland to very fine tolerances. Sterling Swiss Gloss tube is supplied in the UK by Concept Tubes, cut to length, deburred and with corrosion protection. It is available in many sizes and finishes in most shapes including custom designs.


Hydrolysis-resistant resins have been developed for making electrical connectors that are subject to high temperatures and humidity, typically in automotive applications.

Crastin PBT 5000 is an impact-resistant resin containing up to 30% glass fibre reinforcement.


Stainless steel bars from Ugine-Savoie makes full use of the high speed turning capability on some lathes, the company says. The improved Ugima range of 303 grade stainless steel bar can be turned at speeds up to 15,000rpm using the most advanced sliding head machinery.

Where the same part is made from other materials including brass, it is possible to machine from Ugima 4305 and 4570 stainless steel without changing machine settings.


Polymer consultancy Rapra Technology is making its Fillcalc V mould flow analysis software available on a 30-day free trial. The program is an aid to designing moulds and optimising the flow of thermoplastic, rubber and thermoset materials through the injection process.


A zinc-coated strip steel that resists finger marking has been developed by British Steel to cater for the competitive PC market. A one micron double-sided organic coating allows the Zintec AF sheet steel material to be handled without marking, so there is no need for expensive after-cleaning work. Features include forming without lubrication, long-term corrosion resistance and good paint and weld properties