What is FONTAL Aluminum?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ken Scharabok, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Is it a special type of aluminum, an aluminum alloy or standard aluminum which is hardened via a special process? If the latter, how?

    Ken Scharabok
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Hardened aluminum via ultrasound while it is in a fluid cataylist, the sound waves closes the micro surface cracks.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Is it an expensive treatment or something done on a mass production basis?

    Ken Scharabok
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The processing machinery is usually found in cast and mill aluminum factories, its uses cover most high stress aluminum applications, such as pistons, wheels, marine accessories, aircraft items; all where failure could be real trouble. Aluminum, like all metals fail from the outside inward, the treatment makes the surface gain a higher tension strength. I would think you could get into this method for under $5,000.00 if you gathered all the items needed - but that system would be primative compared to what else is out there.

    I don't know of any systems outside of a manufactureing setting. You would need the ultrasound system and emiter, a secure tank, a solution of ethyl glycol (if memory serves me right, its been about 35 years back when I last saw such), and then someone who could run the system, know the chemical formulas, ect.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Reason for question is I am investigating having some swage blocks for spoons and ladles cast up in non-ferrous metal as ductile iron foundries won't fool with small orders. Right now I'm look at silicon bronze. Casting company mentioned aluminum would be about 25%-33% cheaper than bronze. Casting charge is a set-up fee plus the metal by the pound. Thus, aluminum, being lighter, would allow some extra for hardening.

    Being lighter the swage blocks would be more portable and look nice also.

    Next time I speak with the casting company I'll mention hardened aluminum. When I mentioned FONTAL he didn't seem to know the term.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The swages you are seeking are allready available in the silver repair industries, a specialized industry but still there the same. Any speciallity silver polishing shop should have access to the trade magazines that offer what your are seeking.
     
  7. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Hi All....

    The correct term is "FORTAL". It's 7075 Aircraft Qual., Tensile strength of about 74-78 ksi. A yield of about 64-70 ksi and shear strength of about 48.
    Rolling and aging processes is where it derives it's strength. It's not a silicon enhanced alloy. Fortal is better than 7075 as Fortal maintains core hardness in thicker sections unlike the gummy core encountered in some 7075 heavy plate.
    It is susceptible to crack propagation and it scratches, nicks and radical section changes. So good engineering and design practices are a must.
    By the way, it machines beautifully.

    Good Luck! Pamela
     
  8. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Moopups:

    The swage I am interested in having cast isn't otherwise available in the form I envision. These are available individual (one depression per tool) or to fill in blank spaces on swage blocks designed for other purposes. They would be intended for the 'arts and crafter' rather than the professional silversmith.

    Silicon bronze should work fine for what I have in mind. Looking at a size of about 8" x 10" x 2", which works out to about 25-30 pounds. To get as many depressions as I envision you would have to buy two of Centaur Forge's blocks for around $700.

    Sizing is important as I need to keep it within 8 1/2" x 11" so it fits in a priority mail flat rate box. By not putting in the traditional deep ladle depression it reduces the block thickness by about half.

    Ken Scharabok