Past civilizations had very practical reasons for caring about metal properties. They had to ask questions like “Can I break my enemy’s sword before he breaks mine?” or “How thick does my armor need to be to provide any protection at all?” They might not have known it, but these soldiers and gladiators were primarily concerned with material strength.
In previous installments of our series on Metal Properties, we’ve discussed characteristics that set metals apart from one another, as well as those that distinguish them from other nonmetallic elements. Conductivity represents an array of essential features that go to the very heart of what defines a metal. In this article we will be asking: what are the factors affecting the conductivity of metals? What are the most thermally and electrically conductive metals, and why does conductivity matter for manufacturers?
All materials possess some degree of conductivity. One of the main characteristics of metals is their ability to conduct heat and electricity, so metals are all relatively conductive compared to non-metals. However, even within metals you’ll find a broad range in levels of conductivity. A sound knowledge of where various metals fall on the spectrum helps manufacturers choose the right alloy for each product.
The Eagle Group will participate in CastExpo 2022, celebrating a return to major in-person events. CastExpo is a trade show and congress held every three years that brings together thousands of professionals from the worldwide metalcasting supply chain. This year the event will be held in the Greater Columbus Convention Center April 23-26, 2022.
The Eagle Group produces a wide variety of cast and machined products for many industries. One of our strengths as a company is our ability to employ different casting processes. Eagle Precision Cast Parts, for example, specializes in investment casting, and Eagle Alloy specializes in shell molding. When you tour the shop floor at Eagle Alloy, you’ll see our shell molding machines busy at work, turning out most of our order flow. But that’s not all we do: Eagle Alloy also houses a robust airset (no-bake) molding line to support our shell customers.
At the Eagle Group we believe in our employees. We know the success of our companies depends on the people doing the work, day to day, to design and produce our award-winning cast parts. We also acknowledge that our employees have lives outside the workplace, and external challenges play a major role in everyone's ability to grow and succeed on the job.
That's why all Eagle Group companies partner with the Employer Resource Network® to provide personal, on-site success coaching to all of our employees. Our trained social worker takes on issues across the board, from loan applications and housing to therapy and medical care.
In many ways Dakota Hanson (above) is a typical Young Millennial: he's an avid Tik Tok fan, spends his spare time playing Call of Duty, and has a job working with cutting-edge technology. However, unlike many members of his generation, Dakota's workplace is more than a laptop and a WIFI connection. As an Engineering Technician at Eagle Alloy (a shell molding facility in Muskegon, MI) Hanson specializes in programming robotic cells that play an integral role in the manufacturing process.
In fact, Eagle Alloy has a growing number of employees whose job descriptions include programming and operating robotic cells. Through a continuing education program led by robotics manufacturer ABB, Eagle Alloy has been able to provide its in-house team with manufacturing robotics expertise, further improving the company’s response time and resilience.
Metalcasting is a highly versatile manufacturing process. In fact, many in manufacturing professionals are not aware of just how versatile it is, and they continue to produce parts through other less efficient methods. While there is certainly a necessity for fabrication and machining in the metal manufacturing world, these processes can sometimes be replaced by casting.
In order to maintain efficient and successful operations in the manufacturing industry, quality control is extremely important. At Eagle Precision, we have developed a thorough quality policy that governs how we do business, from customer onboarding to product delivery. A big part of our dedication to quality is our adherence to ISO standards. Eagle Precision has been ISO certified since 2006, and we recently went through a re-certification process–and passed with flying colors.
Eagle Alloy takes pride in our reputation as a world-class metalcasting facility, and we make sure every batch of castings is ready for the customer before it leaves our facility. In most cases, the final step before packing and shipping is blasting. The blasting process removes burrs, flash and other excess metal from cast parts and improves their overall surface.
Eagle Alloy's new internal certification program recognizes the skill and dedication of our top-performing employees. The Master Foundryman certification will be awarded every quarter based on objective measures of experience and productivity. The first Eagle Alloy Master Foundrymen, awarded following Q1 2021 performance reviews, have demonstrated consistently outstanding performance in all aspects of their jobs.