Case studies

Go with the flow – saving material and time with a forging alternative

Background

MetalTek International is a global supplier of cast heat, wear and corrosion components.

Its Scottish base, Sandusky Limited Division in Glenrothes offers expertise in horizontal centrifugal casting.  This process results in a casting with robust materials properties comparable to forging.

Customer challenge

A large portion of MetalTek’s customer base is from within the paper industry and it was looking to expand into oil and gas, automotive, marine, defence and renewables.

Allowing it to meet these new customer requirements, it was keen to explore how to integrate thin-walled product options and a degree of shaping without introducing welding or machining.

How did the AFRC help?

Working with MetalTek International’s Scottish arm, Sandusky Limited, the team at the AFRC explored combining flow forming and centrifugal casting using one of it’s onsite flow formers.

Advantages of flow forming include high material utilisation, improved mechanical properties, and precise geometrical control. Using this process, the team increased a centrifugally cast preform to twice its original length, while also improving its mechanical properties.

Ian Jones, Director - European sales at MetalTek International said:

The support we have received from the AFRC has allowed us to broaden our scope into new industries, achieving both the desired material properties and utilisation, positioning the business for new revenue streams with AFRC partners and beyond.

Business impact

The team demonstrated that the same robust material properties as forging can be achieved, but with less waste, using a combination of flow forming and centrifugal casting.

Production time is also reduced thanks to a more efficient supply chain and by generating a greater degree of recyclable waste material, the carbon footprint of components is also shrunk.

MetalTek International is now strongly positioned to enter new markets and increase its client base.