MATERIALS-PROCESSES

Plastic coated steel rainbow

Two new colours racing green with gold flecks and pearlescent pink join the line-up of innovative plastic coated steel sheet from British Steel.

The Colorcoat sheet steel range targets domestic appliance manufacturers for use in hot, cold, wet or microwave applications.

With white as its first colour, the Colorcoat range was introduced five years ago. Claimed benefits include the elimination of fume-laden paint shops and the storage of bulky housings waiting to be painted. The material withstands sharp angle bends without damage to the material surface.

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A high-strength alloy designed for aerospace applications is making life safer for ice climbers.

Black Diamond Equipment of Salt Lake City makes the ultimate top-end ice pick, known as a ‘stinger’ pick.

Instead of using 4340 chrome molybdenum steel for the pick’s compound-curved shaft, the company is using AerMet alloy from Carpenter Specialty Alloys.

The material’s superior strength means the points on the pick are 20% thinner, providing better penetration with less ice and rock displacement and better hookability in fissures. The material has a tensile strength of around 1965MPa. Fracture toughness is better than 110MPa.m0.5

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A range of low melting point alloys from MCP cuts costs by up to 90% on tooling for hollow component carbon fibre and glass-reinforced plastics, according to the company.

The savings stem from the use of low-cost GRP moulds for casting the alloys into cores that can be melted out of the component interiors.

The cost is far less than producing moulds from steel or aluminium and the process is quicker by several days, MCP says.

Alloys with melting points up to 250 C are available for producing melt-out cores.

An overriding benefit is the ability to make single-piece components that do not need to be joined.

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Neutrabac is an antibacterial masterbatch that can inhibit or destroy bacterial growth in moulded plastics products, depending on dosage levels.

It is unaffected by colourings, antistatic or other additives and withstands heat up to 250 C.

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