In Knol-edge, Harrie Knol shares his knowledge on precision metal. Harrie is Head of Application Engineering at Veco and helps our clients' engineers to shape their projects.
In this video Harrie talks about the choices in the material that can be made to make your precision parts.
Today I want to tell you something about the choices in materials that can be made to make your precision pass. At Veco we have three Competent Centers; it's laser machining, it’s photo etching and it's electroforming. For laser machining and photo etching you can use different types of materials and you can use many and many different types of materials. Nearly all materials can be machined.
For electroforming we are mainly talking about nickel. Nickel is a quite noble metal and it's used in different types of industries, different types of applications, and it's mainly known because of its high corrosion resistance. At Veco, we offer different types of nickel. It can vary from, let's say, if we talk about hardness it can vary from 225 vickers up to 650 vickers. At 225 vickers, we call it soft nickel but you have to imagine that it's as hard as stainless steel. Most of the stainless steels are also about 200, 250 vikers, so even our softest nickel can be compared to stainless steel.
The requirements on our products might be in the field of thermal behavior, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, spring behavior, corrosion resistance, it might be abrasive or chemical corrosion. And sometimes we also have requirements on bio-compatibility.
Our products, they are used in -- annually we produce about 1400 different products. They are used in aerospace, healthcare, personal care, automotive, inkjets, medical applications and so on, and so on.
Depending on your application, we may apply coatings. For example, on inkjets, these inks might be very corrosive and what we do is we apply a coating. It might be gold but mostly and it's preferred to use palladium nickel. It's because of its density, it's much cheaper and it's also scratch resistant if you compare it to gold.
If a product has to be totally bio-compatible, we produce the parts. For example, it's a part that we produce for drug simulation, and the part is completely built out of palladium nickel.
I realize that I've mainly been talking about nickel but I want to back to the start where I explained we have three Competent Centers: laser machining, photo etching and electroforming; and with these three Competent Centers we can offer you a wide variation of materials to produce your operation parts.
Stay tuned and see more FAQs answered by Harrie Knol, the industry leading expert in Electroforming.
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