Why use metal stitching instead of welding?

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Why use metal stitching instead of welding?

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2017
By: Michele Loudenslager
Categories: Industry Parts  |  Services

Before we outline why metal stitching is better than welding let’s consider what metal stitching is. It is a method of repairing cracks in cast metals or larger metal parts without the use of welding. The process starts off by drilling a line of holes along the fracture of the casting. To achieve the correct spacing for the holes a jig is used to pinpoint the measurements. A series of highly ductile alloy inserts are placed into the open holes to create a seamless connection across the damaged area. Depending on the type of fracture a tool called a Metalock Key is used with a pneumatic chisel to blend the Keys or inserts. Once the layers of Key’s are added into the holes, they are peened into a flat smooth surface. These holes are then drilled and tapped and finally filled with studs. The process is completed with hand grinders, a final peening and topped with a coat of paint.

Now let’s consider why the repair needs to be performed in the first place. Many of the pieces that require metal stitching are broken from overloading, regular usage (i.e. wear and tear), or mishaps such as nearby broken parts, or even misuse or flaws in the equipment’s casting.

So why metal stitching is a better alternative to welding?

The metal stitching process provides less downtime and is distinctly more affordable than buying a new part. The price for metal stitching is typically less expensive than a purchasing a new replacement part. The metal stitching process is also more cost effective than purchasing a new cast part.

Metal stitching is a great alternative to welding simply because the piece’s integrity will remain intact.

With metal stitching the piece isn’t subjected to hot temperatures like it exposed to when using the welding method. These hot temperatures can cause warping of the metal and inevitably distortion. The original metals under metal stitching procedures, are unaffected and remain whole. These holes are drilled along a fracture which is tapped and filled with studs. The parts central defect is fixed as opposed to manipulating other aspects of the part.

The part does not need to be dismantled when using the metal stitching method.

While using a welding method the part needs to be dismantled for welding procedures such as annealing and preheating to occur properly. The use of hand grinders and a coat of paint requires no disassembly and neither does the several steps involved in a metal stitching process.

When the repair is being performed, the penetration of the metal stitching technique allows the repairer to completely penetrate the metal to resolve the issue. Whereas welding does not allow the repairer to restore the piece, and it inevitably compromises the metal in already fatigued areas.

Metal stitching requires little to no re-machining, but in the case of welding, a piece must be re-machined for it to be brought back to industry specifications.

Heat is a crucial factor for welding. So, because of this heat, the process needs to be performed in a safe and secure area. This isn’t entirely the case for metal stitching. While the process can remain in a safe location, security and strenuous precautions aren't necessary.

These are just some of the ways we find metal stitching to be better than welding. Have we forgotten some? Let us know in the comments below!



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