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Category Archive: Services & Capabilities

What to Know About Chill Casting & Bronze Gear Blanks

To achieve greater uniformity and a finer grain structure in gear blanks, Accurate Specialties Inc. uses a special form of bronze alloy casting known as chill casting. This process allows us to produce gear blanks that require less machining and are therefore more cost effective for our customers.

Our world-class manufacturing capacity allows us to produce chill-cast bronze gear blanks in all shapes and sizes according to our clients’ design specifications. Along with producing near–net-shaped gear blanks, we incorporate precision CNC machining services for keyway cutting, and we also provide our customers with ready-to-hob gear blanks.

What Is Chill Casting?

When chill casting, workers pour molten alloys into a steel or aluminum die base. Because the die base is significantly cooler than the poured metal, the alloy rapidly “freezes,” chilling from the outside inward. Referred to as directional cooling, this process results in a finer grain structure and exceptional uniformity in the finished product.

Metalworkers most commonly use chill casting to form nonferrous billets and ingots. In these applications, this process yields several advantages over sand casting:

  • Direct chill casting allows you to retain the mold after use
  • Chill-cast materials solidify much faster than those created using other means
  • Chill casting produces a tighter material structure in the finished product, resulting in products that are less porous, more accurate, and of higher quality than those created via other methods

Accurate Specialties uses chill casting to produce bronze gear blanks that incorporate these benefits. Most often, this method is applied to non-symetrical shapes such as sector gears.  These advantages reduce product costs, shorten turnaround times, and reduce machining.

Gear Blank Manufacturing

Workers prepare gears for machining by starting with a gear blank, usually a turned casting or forging.

Forging uses thermal and mechanical forces to alter the shape of solid material into the desired conformations. The metallurgical and crystallization processes that occur during heating and forming strengthen or temper the metal, making it stronger and less porous. Steel and steel alloys are among the most common materials used in this process.

On the other hand, casting refers to the process by which workers pour molten material into die bases and allow it to harden into the desired shape. This process enables the production of components that are large, intricately detailed, complicated in design, or otherwise unsuited for forging. Casting also allows metalworkers to use a larger range of alloy choices, and finished products tend to require less tooling.

Capabilities

Accurate Specialties produces a range of solid bronze and composite worm gear blanks for North American markets. We’ve focused on developing top-quality bronze gear blanks for the last 25 years, and our products have gone on to see uses in a wide range of industries.

At Accurate Specialties, we can:

  • Produce gear blanks from 1” to 50” in diameter
  • Cast pour weights of up to 6,000 lbs.
  • Use our in-depth knowledge of the broad range of bronze alloys that we stock to find the perfect metal for your needs
  • Perfect designs and metal compositions in our state-of-the-art materials lab
  • Perform a wide range of CNC machining processes

We produce industry-leading centrifugal-cast, chill-cast, and spuncast composite gear blanks, and we’ve also perfected the design of continuous cast bar blanks and shafts. Accurate Specialties provides components for a wide variety of applications in industries including:

  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Power transmission
  • Marine manufacturing
  • Tooling production
  • Oil drilling

What Can Accurate Specialties Do for You?

We produce top-of-the-line chill-cast gear blanks for the industrial sector. Our high-precision capabilities allow us to produce near–net-shape gear blanks that require less machining than those built with other processes, cutting down your overall costs. In addition, we use CNC machining to produce the highest-quality finish, and we employ keyway cutting to provide you with ready-to-hob gear blanks that meet the unparalleled precision and repeatability your products need.

Request a quote from Accurate Specialties or contact us for more information on chill casting bronze gear blanks.

 

 

Applications for Spuncast Composite Gear Blanks

Accurate Specialties is the leading manufacturer of spuncast composite gear blanks. Our spuncast gears deliver the durability and strength of bronze gears while cutting material costs via the use of steel or cast-iron center hubs. Our process and material choices offer the high level of quality and performance you expect at a much lower price point. Our spuncast composite gears are well-suited for use in most any relevant application.

Choosing Accurate Specialties for Spuncast Composite Gear Blanks

As a top manufacturer of spuncast composite gear blanks, we have learned how to make our solutions cost-effective. Our cast iron or steel center hubs we utilize are more affordable than crafting a full bronze gear blank, and without the need for spacers, our composite gears cut the need for added assembly processes. In addition, we receive a bulk discount on materials due to the high volumes of spuncast composite gear blanks that we fabricate, and these savings are passed on to our clients.

We also offer quick turnaround times for your composite gear orders. Components can be completed in as little as one week. Accurate Specialties utilizes integrated manufacturing processes to offer the manufacturing flexibility our customers demand. We guarantee the integrity of all materials, and our strict quality management process ensures a high quality end product.

Industries & Applications

Accurate Specialties’ spuncast composite gear blanks are well-suited for use in most any industry where gear blanks are used. They are relied upon in critical applications across industries such as:

Power Transmission

We offer spuncast composite gear blanks in a range of sizes to meet the demands of most power transmission applications. We also produce bronze gear blanks that are centrifugal cast or chill cast, with a range of common and specialty alloys available.

Our gear blanks are used in the following power transmission applications:

  • Conveyor systems
  • Mining equipment
  • Elevators
  • Escalators
  • Center point irrigation systems
  • Hoists
  • Cranes
  • Milling and manufacturing equipment
  • Screw conveyors and augers
  • CAT scanner positioning systems
  • Solar panel positioning systems

Machine Tools

Our spuncast composite gear blanks can handle demanding loads placed upon them by precision machine tools while delivering sheer resistance in environments where backlash is minimal. Our gear blanks are designed for dependable operation, and made from heavy-duty materials.

You will find our gear blanks in the following machine tool applications:

  • Machine tool components
  • Rotary tables for machine tools
  • Indexing tables for machine tools

Marine

Our gear blanks are utilized in various marine applications, and may be customized to meet your specific design requirements.

Marine applications that have utilized our gear blanks include:

  • Boat lifts
  • Cable & wench systems
  • Bilge pumps
  • Water pumps

Automotive

Our spuncast composite gear blanks deliver superior reliability for the automotive industry. Components may be manufactured to meet exact specifications and are made in a variety of sizes to suit the varying needs of the automotive sector.

You can find our gear blanks in the following automotive applications:

  • Steering mechanisms
  • Gear boxes
  • Gear-drive power transmissions

Gear Blanks for All Industries

Accurate Specialties is an industry leader in the manufacture of reliable spuncast composite gear blanks across the above applications and many more. Request a quote today to learn how our gear blanks deliver superior performance and savings in your application.

 

 

How to Make Bronze for Worm Gear Applications

A worm gear is a mechanical arrangement consisting of a spiral-threaded shaft butted against a toothed wheel, resembling a standard spur gear. The threaded shaft, also known as a worm, acts as the driving element, imparting motion to the wheel as the rotational power from the worm is transferred in a 90o plane.

Worm gears are typically used for their high gear reduction ratios. It is common for standard worm gears to achieve reduction ratios ranging from 20:1 up to 300:1. This attribute makes worm gears ideal for applications that require reduced rotational speeds or significantly increased torque. By comparison, it would take multiple conventional gearsets to achieve the same levels of reduction.

Worm gears also have another useful characteristic—they possess a natural self-locking feature by design. The worm can easily turn the gear wheel, but the gear wheel cannot turn the worm, thus preventing reverse movement.

 

How to Make Bronze

Bronze is one of the most commonly used alloys for worm gears due to the material’s desirable mechanical properties. The term “bronze” covers many copper alloys, though the final product ultimately depends on the other material contained within the alloy. For example, using nickel creates copper-nickel alloys, or using zinc creates brass. Bronze, on the other hand, is most often created by creating a copper alloy with tin or aluminum.

At Accurate Specialties, we utilize a variety of alloys to meet our client’s specific requirements. Typically, for worm gears, we recommend tin bronze (C91700) and aluminum bronze (C95400 and C95500) due to their relatively high strength, and superior fatigue, friction, and wear resistance.

The process of making bronze involves first heating the copper element to a specified temperature. Once the copper reaches a molten state, predetermined amounts of alloying compounds (such as aluminum or tin) are added to the molten copper. The molten alloy mix is then poured into bronze casting dies for the gear components and allowed to cool.

 

Typical Bronze Worm Gear Applications

The high torque output of worm gears makes them suitable for heavily loaded machinery. Some of the most common applications for worm gears include:

  • Movable bridge components

The controlled and powerful motion of worm gears are ideal for inducing movements in large and heavy bridge structures.

  • Elevators, lifts, packaging equipment, and conveyors

Worm gears are used to provide the torque needed to transport heavy loads from one point to another. The non-reversible properties of this gear also act as a secondary safety braking system.

  • Heavy-duty construction equipment and trucks

Heavy vehicles often use a worm gear differential for additional power. Depending on the action of the vehicle, different amounts of torque may need to be delivered to each wheel. Worm gears are used to provide the necessary torque that governs each wheel’s performance.

 

Learn More

At Accurate Specialties Inc., we provide custom worm gear manufacturing services for numerous applications in almost any industry. Our technical team will work with you to help determine the best alloy for your unique specifications.

If you would like to learn more about how to make bronze, bronze worm gears, or any of our other products and services, feel free to contact us or request a quote.

Vertical Centrifugal Casting

The techniques used to mold and shape metals have evolved significantly over the centuries. Forging, sand casting (static casting), and rolled and welded procedures are just some of the traditional methods used to manufacture metal parts and components. However, there are many applications where these fabrication methods are either unsuitable or inefficient.

The centrifugal casting process can produce components with intricate geometries at a lower cost and with reduced machining requirements in comparison to other commonly used casting methods. The process entails pouring molten metal into the center of a rotating mold. The centrifugal force induced by the rotation pushes the molten metal against the inner wall of the mold to create the intended shape. The molding dies can be oriented horizontally (horizontal centrifugal casting) or vertically (vertical centrifugal casting).

When to Rely on Centrifugal Casting

Centrifugal casting has traditionally been used to manufacture hollow shapes with specified thicknesses in the instance where the end product requires the most dense “best” material on the OD of the product. Due to its mode of operation, centrifugal casting is most suitable for components with axisymmetric geometries (i. e., shapes that are symmetric about a given axis). One benefit of centrifugal casting is reduction in instances of retained air pockets or porosity in the finished product.

Because centrifugal casting is done with a predetermined mold size and controlled via electronic means, it is best suited to applications that require high accuracy. Products with precise dimensions and weight can be manufactured to tight tolerances by controlling the casting process with computerized controls.

Although most commonly associated with molten metals, there are centrifugal casting advantages when used with virtually any material that can be melted into a pourable slurry, including concrete, glass, ceramic, and plastics.

The Vertical Centrifugal Casting Process

The vertical centrifugal casting process consists of several stages. At the beginning, the molten metal is poured into a vertically oriented preheated rotating die. The centrifugal forces in the vertical spinning mold then cause the molten metal to spread horizontally and vertically along the inner diameter of the mold so that it assumes the specified shape.

As the mold and die spin, the denser elements of the molten metal are pushed toward the outer diameter. In a process known as directional solidification, the mold acts as a cooling surface which solidifies the metal from the outer diameter as it moves towards the bore. This process causes impurities to ‘float’ toward the inner diameter, from which they can be machined away when the casting process is complete.

The result is a final product with superior mechanical properties and a more uniform, fine grain structure. For this reason, vertical centrifugal casting techniques are used to manufacture components in the aviation, aerospace, military, petrochemical, and any other industries that require high-reliability components.

Although vertical and horizontal castings can produce products of similar quality, castings with vertical orientations are more suitable for cylindrical shapes with a diameter several times larger than the depth (or height) of the cast. Rings and bearings are examples of products best suited to vertical centrifugal casting.

Vertical centrifugal casting can also be used to cast non-cylindrical parts such as valves and propellers by using specialty castings. Other products that are commonly produced with vertical centrifugal casting methods include:

  • Balls for ball valves
  • Gear blanks
  • Short bushings
  • Flanges
  • Sprockets

Accurate Specialties Inc. is an industry leader in manufacturing centrifugal cast bronze gear blanks. Our vertical centrifugal casting techniques produce gear blanks with high purity, density, and durability. Our state-of-the-art equipment generates pressures up to 60 times the force of gravity to segregate and remove impurities and other unwanted elements from our products. All of our gear blanks are machined with high dimensional accuracy using our advanced 4-axis, CNC-controlled VTC to ensure proper installation and minimization of errors.

At Accurate Specialties Inc., we have developed countless gear blanks for thousands of applications for over 30 years. Our ISO 9001:2015 certified quality systems ensure that each one of our gear blanks and friction materials exceeds industry standards and leaves our facilities in the best possible condition.

To learn more about our centrifugal cast gear blanks or our other services, feel free to contact us.