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Is continuous cast metal the best choice for your part?

Published on January 20, 2023

Maybe you’re already familiar with Versa-Bar and know it is an excellent option compared to sand-cast metal. But what exactly is continuous cast iron, why is it different, and when is it best utilized?

What is continuous cast metal?

Continuous cast metal is formed by pouring molten metal into lengthy horizontal or vertical stationary molds. Rapid chilling of the metal to the point of solidification ensures a fine, uniform grain structure. Also called strand casting, this technique has been around since the 1950s.

Continuous cast metal allows lower production costs and better quality. It costs less because there are no tooling charges. The standardized production and increased process control through automation ensure the iron solidifies uniformly. It is, therefore, more durable and reliable than traditional sand-cast iron. In addition, Versa-Bar is manufactured with less scrap material and reduced machining, so it is stronger.

What makes continuous cast metal different?

In addition to the quality differences already mentioned, Versa-Bar continuous cast iron is a hydraulic metal. It features microscopic flakes or graphite spheres with tiny recesses that promote oil retention. Lubricated parts stay oily longer, and the highly dispersed graphite acts as a self-lubricant in the case of oil loss. Naturally, non-abrasive qualities give Versa-Bar tubes, rounds, bars, and rods superior wearability, making it a hydraulic metal.

Which types of parts or industries benefit from continuous cast metal?

Continuous cast gray iron is recommended for straight-wear applications in the hydraulics industry due to its lower tensile strength, higher thermal conductivity, and higher damping capacity.

Continuous cast gray iron is ideal for bearings and bushings (ductile iron is much better for moving parts because it is more malleable and impact resistant). Versa-Bar continuous cast ductile iron is commonly used for pistons and other machinery requiring high tensile strength.

Parts requiring significant amounts of machining benefit the most from continuous cast iron. Lower costs and fewer defects make continuous cast iron a great steel alternative. 

Where Versa-Bar really shines is in the reduced machining time. Versa Bar’s superior metallurgy allows machinists to drill, turn and mill it much faster than most other materials.

Other industries that use continuous cast metal include aerospace, fluid power, racing and automotive, and foundry.

If you’re wondering if Versa-Bar is right for you, contact us today to learn more.

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