What Causes Porosity in Metal?

Porosity in metal is a manufacturing defect that can leave your machinery vulnerable to a wide range of potential problems. While porosity may cause structural deficiencies, it may not necessarily require you to replace or recreate your metallic component. You should consult with a qualified expert in metallurgy in Gastonia, NC to learn more about how porosity in your metal alloy may be affecting the stability of your component or surface.

Causes of porosity

As metal cools and hardens, it also shrinks. This shrinkage may result in the formation of pores, which could adversely affect the metal’s structural integrity. There are a number of factors that could lead to porosity in metals, particularly die-cast metals, including:

  • The purity of metals used: If you are working with impure metals, they may cool unevenly or prematurely, resulting in a higher degree of porosity. You should use only pure metals and alloys for structurally significant castings.
  • Too much lubricant: When the mold is filled with too much lubricant, it may allow the metal to separate too early, resulting in uneven cooling. If this is the case, the end result will be an overly porous metal product.
  • Low metal temperatures: If the metal is not poured into the mold at an appropriate temperature, it may cool too early, resulting in an overly porous final product. If this is the case, you should consider casting at a higher temperature moving forward.
  • Sharp corners in the die: If the mold you are using has several sharp corners, it may be causing the metal to cool prematurely in areas where it is poured relatively thinly. This could result in an overly porous final product.

Testing and prevent porosity

If you believe that your metal surface is overly porous, the only way to test its structural integrity is to submit it to an x-ray machine. The x-ray will read out the overall porosity levels, and help you determine if the metal is stable and safe enough for use.

To avoid porosity in future metal alloy castings, you should work with your alloy suppliers to ensure that you are receiving the highest possible quality materials for all of your castings. Additionally, you may want to consider melting down your raw materials in a vacuum, so as to prevent gas porosity, and to keep impurities from entering the alloy. You should also consult with an expert in metallurgy in Gastonia, NC.

Since 1980, J.F. Heat Treating Inc. has been the premier provider of metallurgy in Gastonia, NC. We take a tremendous amount of pride in our ability to deliver high-quality metallurgy services to communities throughout the region. If you suspect one of your metal alloy surfaces or components is porous, you should consult with one of our qualified metal experts at your earliest possible convenience. We can assist you with a wide range of heat treatments and more to ensure that your components are all structurally sound.

Reach out to J.F. Heat Treating Inc. to learn more about our comprehensive metallurgy services and receive some of the best customer service available in the entire state of North Carolina.

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