BarronCast Inc. (BCI) provides investment castings and machined parts in a competitive environment to demanding customers in defense, automotive, medical and other industries. It is ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001 certified. It produces cast iron, carbon, stainless and tool steels, aluminum and copper alloys.

Quality control is a critical part of its production process for all customer industry sectors. BCI recently moved most of its quality testing in-house in order to reduce turnaround time and manage the process. Commented Greg Barron, BCI Manager of Engineering and Quality Assurance, “We found that we can do the testing, certify and ship ourselves  – we didn’t have to wait for outside test results.”

One of the tests that BCI is now conducting in-house is tensile testing. Barron’s original thought was that a used, retrofitted machine would be the most cost effective path. Barron checked into new and retrofitted Instron, Tinius Olsen and other manufacturers’ test frames. He noticed that ADMET controllers and indicators were often used in the retrofits. He contacted ADMET and discovered that, for the price of a retrofitted machine, about $25,000, he could buy a new machine.

After discussing his needs with ADMET to make sure that its machine could handle testing BCI’s highest tensile strength material, hardened 17-4-PH Martinsitic Stainless with ultimate tensile psi strengths of over 200,000, he ordered an ADMET ExPress servo-hydraulic, dual column test frame equipped with the MTESTQuattro materials testing system for use in both R&D and production testing.

Said Barron, “We see a lot of possibilities. Part of the investment casting process is to build a ceramic shell. Periodically, we send them out for a four-point bend test. With the proper fixturing we could use the ExPress to test our ceramic shells in-house.

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