Manufacturers of delicate components look beyond just creating a product that will meet customer demand. They must also focus on quality parts that must stand up to the test of time. Using custom alloys can allow some companies to overcome manufacturing challenges when standard alloys are prone to failure when crafted into specific components.
Quality assurance is paramount through every stage of the design, manufacturing and testing process. Discovering issues that could result in component failure early on helps research and development (R&D) laboratories quickly identify the issue and come up with alternatives that will continue to give optimal quality to the part while still meeting design specifications.
Having quality assurance testing equipment and qualified lab technicians when working with a custom alloy manufacturer can help companies gain access to lab personnel who have been continuously trained in metallurgical analysis.
For over a century, Belmont Metals has been offering quality assurance standards with all of their custom alloy manufacturing to determine and verify alloy compositions so that their custom alloys provide the desired characteristics required for the specific application.
Due to these high-quality standards and custom alloy creation options, a premier watch manufacturer reached out to Belmont Metals regarding a problem they were experiencing when designing the bezel pins for their brass watches. These pins protrude from the round bezel face as the components allowed the wrist strap to be securely fastened.
However, the watch manufacturer discovered that the pins were breaking apart, leading up to a 50 percent failure rate for the bezels. With half of their products leading to breakage that could seriously damage the watch if falling from a customer’s wrist, it could lead to devastating profit losses for the company.
There was also a secondary consideration that needed to be addressed. The alloy that the pins were created from needed to be of the same color consistency with the brass watch bezel. This color requirement was necessary to have a brass watch that would have complementary-looking features that would attract buyers.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Belmont has its own on-site lab equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art equipment. The company also has access to independent laboratories to take advantage of additional testing capabilities.
Belmont’s custom R&D capabilities were used to figure out the right metal to use that would lower the failure rate of the bezel pins. They focused on developing a metal alloy that had more ductility. This metal could then be cast and stretched into the small pins attached to the bezel surface without the alloy becoming brittle or losing its tensile strength. Belmont also worked with different materials to create a new red metal alloy that would meet the client’s color specifications.
Using tools that included an inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry as well as an arcing spark optical emission spectrometry, Belmont could continually test the quality of the new red metal. They examined the composition of the alloy to determine if it would offer the desired characteristics of durability and castability throughout the manufacturing process.
Belmont could factor in the strength, durability, and fatigue resistance of the red alloy and make the slight changes to increase these properties to an acceptable level.
The new castings created from the custom alloy now had a failure rate of less than one percent. The red metal could now meet quality standards and become a suitable replacement for the original alloy while having the same desired color consistency.
Not only was the new red metal alloy used by the premier watch manufacturer for their bezel pins, the alloy became a staple that could be used throughout the watchmaking industry.
Maintaining quality testing throughout the design and development of new custom metals is paramount to avoid inconsistencies or possible issues during the melting and casting phases. Companies working with the metallurgists available from Belmont Metals can obtain a more competitive edge in creating quality components that meet quality assurance standards.
This process can eliminate production issues that are often found when working with a limited amount of available standard alloys. Seeking out an alloy manufacturer that can evaluate a client’s specification and create custom alloys paves the way in developing new innovations, no matter how large or how small, that can please both the client and the customer.