We live in a world where we can have virtually everything customized. The metal industry is no different. With new technological advances, industry experts can now create custom alloys that can be used to solve particular problems and serve specific needs within the metalworking community. Read on for some examples of how custom alloys have made a difference.
Most of us probably don’t know what paktong is, and for good reason. Paktong is an ancient long lost copper, nickel and zinc alloy that looks a lot like silver. It was important from China to England and lived primarily in museums for a very long time. Eventually, a well-known antiquities company decided to try to replicate the alloy and commissioned Oxford University to analyze an ancient Chinese casting from 1720 to create the duplication. The defined formula was soon found difficult to cast, however, and the color was off. Fortunately, a company was able to create the custom alloys needed to get the right color and consistency and a new paktong was introduced to the world.
One of the most popular watch manufacturers in the world was struggling with their brass watch bezels. The pins that protrude from the bezels kept breaking, to the point where they were faulty in almost 50% of the watches. To solve this problem, custom alloys were used to create new, more ductile bezels. This was quite the task, as the new bezels had to match the old brass versions in both color and castability. This new alloy blend has now become a staple in the industry, and bezel breakages have been reduced to less than 1%.
Some global jewelry manufacturers started getting concerned about the presence of toxic metals in their cast metal products. Especially as laws changed, it was becoming more and more important to find high quality, lead free alloys that allowed for parts to be cast with low porosity. They needed a new tin based alloy to replace their old alloys without changing the manufacturing process. Through the development of a custom alloy, premiere jewelry manufacturers were able to keep producing their gorgeous products without the threat of any health risk.