SF&E Improves Castability and Production Timeline for Complex Impeller

stainless casting pour

Workmanship, lead times, and dependability are common qualities any manufacturer looks for when selecting parts producers. But when the part is a custom-made, complex impeller for an industrial pump that needs to run continuously, the necessity of these qualities becomes non-negotiable. A Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E) customer recently learned their former foundry partner’s impeller was failing in the field and needed to be replaced. Time – but more importantly, the ability for the OEM to make things right – were on the line.

Urgent Need

The customer’s impeller design was geometrically complex. And, it was made of a specialty austenitic stainless steel material specifically utilized in highly corrosive operations, which can be a challenge to get the chemistry right. An impeller was already installed at a customer site, but part geometry was causing premature wear. The end customer, who had a large operation, submitted a warranty claim to have it replaced, and needed the spare as soon as possible for proper back-up.

Impeller Core

“As soon as possible” for a 500-pound, complex, custom-machined part would normally take 12 weeks, at minimum. The OEM knew they would need to modify the pattern in order to correct the quality issues, which only added more time to an urgent need. The OEM approached SF&E with the project because of our track record for on-time delivery, our experience producing the different alloys required, and our relative proximity in facility location. In addition, we had already worked with the OEM on various, less-challenging projects and delivered positive results.

Sand Casting Pour

Saving Time

The SF&E team got to work with a focus on improving quality while reducing expected lead times. First, SF&E metallurgy became familiar with the material. The material had not been poured at SF&E in decades and was composed of a very high chromium and nickel content with minimal carbon, so the SF&E team learned more about the properties and how to achieve a successful pour.

Next, SF&E foundry engineering utilized our MAGMASOFT® solidification modeling software to slightly tweak the cast design in order improve castability. Knowing that the vanes were extremely important, SF&E utilized 3D printed cores to offer better quality and quick turnaround. Additive manufacturing eliminated the need for hard tooling changes, which saved our customer 2-3 weeks of time.

Not only was the impeller delivered to the customer site earlier than expected, it adhered to all specifications. Our customer needed a foundry partner that could provide quality products and dependable, on-time delivery. SF&E is now working on additional parts with the OEM, also with high specifications and complicated materials.

Pump Impeller

If you are searching for a capable foundry that when presented with a challenge, is willing to go above and beyond, tell us more by contacting sales@stainlessfoundry.com.

Other News Articles

Fueling the Future with Precision Nuclear Power Components

As the nuclear industry continues to grow, we take quality to the next level with non-destructive testing (NDT), comprehensive procedures, personnel qualifications and certifications. Check out the full article for visual insight into the attention to detail the SF&E team applies to keep nuclear plants safe.

Ready for the Future of Nuclear

Nuclear is getting a fresh look. Between the clean energy benefits, the development of small modular reactors, and the U.S. Navy’s continued reliance on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines, the industry is growing. SF&E has produced nuclear parts for nearly as long as the industry has been around. Check out our plans to see how we will continue to serve the industry at large!

Morgan Joins Stainless Foundry & Engineering Sales Team

Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E) today announced that Mr. Kim Morgan has joined the company as a Sales Consultant. In this role, Mr. Morgan will promote the foundry’s capabilities to manufacturers located in the U.S. and Canada.

Building on Brass and Bronze

The need for brass and bronze castings continues to grow in critical industries including NAVSEA, oil and gas, mining, construction, and food and beverage. Brass and bronze are non-ferrous metals that have highly-corrosion-resistant properties, making them ideal for parts submerged in seawater and pumps that move abrasive slurries.

The A Team: Introducing a New Alloy Requires Inter-Departmental Process and Skill

Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E) has built an impressive offering of 250 ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. SF&E takes a methodical approach that involves all departments. Each department contributes to delivering castings using new alloys.

Return to the News Page