Smith Metal Products Capabilities

In-House Metallurgy Lab

At Smith Metal Products our fully equipped in-house metallurgy lab provides element analysis of material characterization and testing. We are one the very few, USA MIM molders to have a fully equipped in-house lab, and are proud to offer these capabilities to our customers. Our commitment to Quality is ongoing and strive to continue enhancing all aspects of our MIM manufacturing.

In-House Metalurgy Lab

We can perform micro-structure analysis, fatigue testing, tensile testing, hardness, density, and carbon analysis. Full geometric inspection with Statistical Process Control (SPC) is available for all MIM materials and components. With these capabilities Smith Metal Products is able to maintain tight control of all aspects of the MIM process.

We utilize Trinocular Metallurgical Microscope technology to analyze sample MIM materials. The MIM materials are mounted into puck-shaped holding devices and the metal material is polished before inspection. Samples are then analyzed under magnification from 50x to 400x for consistency of micro structures, grain, and overall consistency. Through this inspection process we evaluate the materials for porosity and trouble shoot for other problems such as cracking or sharp corners. If potential problems are detected we can work with the customer to identify the issues and recommend part design changes to correct them.

All details including Image Capture and Measurements are then compiled and a quality report is generated and logged into the Smith Metal Products data base for ongoing documentation, tracking to assure your MIM components are of the highest quality. We are certified to ISO9001:2015, ISO 13485 Compliant, and striving for ISO 22068 in late 2020.

MIM Materials we commonly MIM mold and perform ongoing analysis for include TiMIM (Titanium, Stainless Steels and most ferrous alloys. The complete materials list includes the following materials:

Low-alloyed Steels
FN02 case hardening
FN0205 hardenable
4605 hardenable
FN08 both
8620 case hardening
8740 hardenable
4140 hardenable
4340 hardenable
100Cr6 hardenable
1010 case hardening
S7 Hardenable
Stainless Steels
316L non-magnetic
PANACEA non-magnetic, Ni-free
17-4PH hardenable
420 hardenable
430 ferromagnetic
440Nb hardenable
310N heat resistant
Specialties
In•100 (dev.) heat resistant
In713 (dev.) heat resistant
GHS-4 heat, wear resistant
Ti non-magnetic, inert
W non-magnetic
F15 low thermal expansion
M2 wear resistant
Soft Magnetic
FS
FeSi3
FN50
in-house metallurgy lab

Smith Metal Products in-house metallurgy lab includes Extensometer Inspection Devices for specific tensile bar to pull strength tests standards. We use Mtest-Qutro and SPC charting to calculate mechanical properties for our MIM and TiMIM material runs. These tests confirm material integrity from batch to batch for producing highest quality MIM parts on a ongoing basis.

Analysis results include:
Auto elongation at break
Load at break
Maximum load
Maximum stress
Modulus of elasticity
Stress at break
Yield strength
Tensile Tester Screen
macro hardness testing system

Macro hardness testing system.

macro hardness testing system

Micro hardness testing system.

Smith Metal Products utilizes Macro and Micro hardness testing to measure hardness and part integrity according to the requirements of the MIM materials and its applications. Each piece of equipment is precisely calibrated and maintained to the appropriate hardness scales.

Macro hardness has a larger indenter and can be preformed on any flat surface of a part without any additional preparation so it is quick and easy. The micro hardness test makes a much smaller indent, 0.1–0.4 mm across for metals – the samples need to be mounted and polished in the lab to take measurements. The benefit of the micro-hardness is the ability to measure the hardness near the surface versus the core and the ability to check small parts or thin sections.

Our lab technicians utilize the test results to document production batches and communicate with our production teams potential production changes. At Smith Metal Products, our commitment to produce the highest quality MIM parts is backed by our on-going investment in equipment and personnel.

Pycnometer testing system

Pycnometer testing system.

What we mainly use the pycnometer for is to check the density of the parts after sintering. One of the main functions of the sintering process is to densify the parts. We can use the pycnometer to see if the parts did in fact reach full density.

It provides a useful metric since a part that is not fully dense is likely to be oversized which may not be caught until a later inspection. It can also indicate a change inside the furnace that may need to be addressed before we sinter any more parts. Our technicians generate final density results and add to each part lot certificate.