Archive: Apr 2021

Overview of Non-Standard Materials

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Since 1975, Stafford Manufacturing Corp. has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of shaft collars, rigid shaft couplings, and specialty mechanical components. Our products are used for industrial, consumer, OEM, and MRO applications, including automation, power transmission, motion control, and many others. We have unique expertise in designing components with non-standard materials that meet the needs of unique or challenging applications. Some of the non-standard metals we work with include:

  • Titanium
  • Nylon
  • Bronze
  • Brass
  • Delrin
  • High Temp Alloys

Titanium

Titanium is a natural element with the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metal and a tensile strength ranging from 30,000 psi to 200,000 psi. This low-density, strong, and lightweight material exhibits a high melting point, low heat-induced dimensional change, good heat transfer, and high electrical resistance. Titanium is commonly used for airplanes, missiles, rockets, and various other applications such as springs and medical manufacturing due to its excellent elasticity, non-toxicity, and biocompatibility.

Nylon

Nylon has high abrasion resistance, good thermal resistance, high machinability, good fatigue resistance, and noise dampening capabilities. The different nylon grades include 66, 11, 12, 46, and 6, which are named for the length of their polymeric chains. Key benefits of nylon include low internal stresses, lower water absorption, more crystalline structure equating to higher mechanical strength, and a higher melting temperature.

Bronze

This copper and tin alloy is brittle, highly ductile, has low friction, doesn’t produce sparks when struck, expands as it hardens from liquid to solid, and produces a colored patina as it oxidizes. It is used in architectural structures and design elements as well as coins, bearings, electrical contacts, ship propellers, and shaft collars. Bronze can also be made into wool, avoiding some of the problems that steel wool presents, such as rust, broken filaments, and magnetic characteristics that can affect equipment. 

Brass

This gold-colored copper and zinc alloy has excellent electrical conductivity, good machinability, and low friction. It is commonly used in architecture and manufacturing of gears, locks, pipe fittings, and musical instruments. There are many subtypes and finishes available, including electroplating, powder coating, painting, and polishing. Tolerances are +/- 125 μm (standard), as well as +/-100 μm and +/- 50 μm (achievable).

Delrin

Delrin is a plastic alternative to metal that offers good dimensional stability, excellent machinability, and high fatigue endurance. Natural-grade Delrin is NSF, FDA, and USDA compliant. 

Other qualities include:

  • Tensile strength of 6,000-22,000 psi
  • Impact strength of  .75-2 ft-lb/in. 
  • Heat deflection of 180-300ºF
  • Chemical resistance to fuels and solvents
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Good wear and abrasion properties
  • Superior impact and creep resistance
  • High strength and stiffness properties

Common components made from Delrin include gears, bearings, bushings, shaft collars, rollers, fittings, and electrical insulator parts. 

High-Temperature Alloys

High-temperature alloys are a mixture of at least one metal and another element that can withstand temperatures above 500º C. High-temperature alloys are used extensively in the military, medical, aerospace, and electronics industries. The alloys were designed for use in conveyors, furnaces, ovens, and oil and gas applications. They are costly and difficult to machine and shape. However, they are necessary for certain conditions. Stafford offers high-temperature alloy shaft collars in one piece, two piece, hinged, and flanged designs.

Specialty Mechanical Components from Stafford Manufacturing Corp.

Stafford Manufacturing Corp. is a leading manufacturer specializing in custom-manufactured shaft collars and rigid couplings in non-standard materials. To learn more about our products, please visit our product overview page. For pricing, please request a quote

Prototyping Parts and the SPARC Program Solution

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Prototyping new parts isn’t always an easy endeavor even for experienced manufacturers. The process of producing, testing, and evaluating new components takes quite a bit of time and effort for all involved. As necessary as prototyping is, the traditional path for it is anything but efficient. Thankfully, Stafford Manufacturing is helping to change that with the new SPARC program. Read on to learn more about the various challenges of mechanical prototyping and how the SPARC program is tackling them.

What are the Challenges of Prototyping?

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What are The Challenges of Prototyping?

There are many challenges that manufacturers face when custom prototyping. These include:

  • Development time. Prototypes often require significant amounts of development time, both initial and for continued testing. New products go through several stages of development, but each new stage inevitably costs quite a bit of time, money, and effort.
  • Prototyping expenses. The more development time and hardware the prototyping process requires, the more expensive it will be.
  • Production problems. During the prototyping process, certain production issues may arise such as process issues, shortages of materials, material incompatibility with the design, and accuracy issues in the prototyped design versus the original blueprint.
  • Software issues. When converting original design files into a CAD model, there is often a risk of defects such as data loss. This greatly affects the surface quality and overall precision of the prototype. 
  • User confusion. A design may work on paper but be harder to put into action when in the hands of a user. Changes from the original design to the current one can also be a source of confusion if certain features are missing. 

The Stafford Prototype and Repair Collar System (SPARC)

Stafford Manufacturing Corp. Introduces Prototype and Repair Collar SystemPrototype manufacturing can be greatly simplified by using Stafford Manufacturing’s new SPARC program. SPARC is a 3-D printing solution to mechanical prototyping, allowing manufacturers to quickly produce models of shaft collars at a fraction of the cost and effort. 3-D printed models such as these can be created in only a few hours, greatly reducing both the amount of production time as well as the downtime in between production. This also means faster testing and faster feedback on designs, which further cuts design time.

The SPARC system provides a precision-machined Master Collar, available in one-and two-piece split clamp styles, in three OD sizes, in Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum, and is designed to accept a customized 3D printed insert. This provides a great amount of variety for testing new designs while keeping prototypes to a precise standard. The 3-D printed prototypes do not compromise on quality, allowing testers to get a sense of how the final version of the collar will operate. Additionally, Stafford Manufacturing assists manufacturers by providing a free library of shaft collar designs to use for prototyping, saving time that would otherwise be used in designing a custom collar.

Stafford Manufacturing for Prototyping Parts

Prototyping can be a costly, tedious, and imprecise venture, but Stafford Manufacturing’s SPARC system of 3-D prototype generation is set to change that. Providing many of the things that traditional prototyping lacks (accuracy in design, ease of manufacturing, lower costs, quicker manufacturing, etc.), SPARC enables more effective testing and a better end product.

To learn more about SPARC, contact Stafford Manufacturing today. As industry leaders in prototyping and manufacturing shaft collars, rigid shaft couplings, and other specialty mechanical parts, we have the experience and skill needed to provide excellent results at fair prices.