The complexity of machining lead and lead-based products

Image of Lead_shieldingMachining of lead-based products is difficult due to the soft nature of alloys. The pressure from the fixtures and cutting tools on lead-based parts can cause a product to be out of specification. Therefore, the handling of these products is critical.

How we handle lead-based products

One way to address this problem is to add antimony to these lead-based products. In some cases, tin can be added as well to increase the mechanical properties and rigidity.

To better serve our customers, Vulcan GMS casts lead blocks to the exact size we need to machine the customer’s product. By having our own foundry, we can optimize the size and expedite the raw material for our machining business unit. This is a key element that separates us from your local machine shop that must wait to acquire the lead materials needed. Also Vulcan can cast finished shapes or partial cast shapes to allow our customers the best overall value.

The problem with lead machine chips

When the local machine shop tries to machine lead, they will need to purchase the raw material and, after machining, they are then left with the machine chips. Lead is a hazardous material that should not be processed or machined unless you are an approved manufacturer that has environmental licenses and approved processing methods.

Lead machine chips cannot be disposed of like aluminum or steel chips. They must be processed by a certified company that can convert and process the chips. Vulcan GMS is able to melt and reuse all of our own machine chips internally in our foundry. This ensures our customers a closed loop cradle to grave approach in the manufacturing of their products. In addition, we do not need to charge our customers for a block since we can make the block and reclaim the chips. Our customers only pay for what is needed in the product.

If you are in need of a machined lead part, consider your options and choose Vulcan GMS for your machining needs. Do not let your liability be in your vendor’s mishandling of lead products.  Choose a certified lead manufacturing company such as Vulcan GMS for all your lead machining needs. Contact us today.

Comments

  1. I never knew that lead was really a hazardous material, until I read through this article. My husband has been talking about his company using lead for some project, but I didn’t really understand what he meant. I’ll have to ask my husband tonight about his job, maybe he can give me a few more details.

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