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  • Possible Materials for Gauge Blocks

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Bill Toulas, Jan 17, 2019.

    1. Bill Toulas

      Bill Toulas Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I was reading about the AMS 5893 of the Incoloy 909 super-alloy family, and one of the most typical usage scenario for it is the manufacturing of gauge block sets that are used for the calibration of high-precision measurement instruments. Considering the fact that the specific material maintains a constant expansion coefficient over a wide range of temperatures, AMS 5893 could be used to create blocks that retain their precise dimensions even on higher temperature conditions.

      Now, since this super-alloy is quite expensive, the question is, what would be the next best cheap material to use in the case that we want to build a gauge block? Feel free to submit multiple suggestions. :)
       
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    3. s.weinberg

      s.weinberg Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      A quick google search turns up Invar as probably the go-to material. It appears to have a coefficient of thermal expansion smaller than AMS 5893, and is available on Mcmaster-Carr, which is normally not the cheapest source, for not too bad a price, relatively speaking as a premium material.

      I'm sure this stuff costs an arm and a leg, but if you want to go really extreme, there is: https://www.us.schott.com/advanced_...odur/index.html?wss_setorigin=1&wss_iso=en-US
       
    4. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

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      I don't know about gage blocks, but gage pins are often made out 52100 steel, which is a wear and impact resistant alloy often used for ball bearing races.
       
    5. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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    6. GoodCat

      GoodCat Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      For this is the best option to make gauge blocks of hard alloy, I have a set of gauge blocks of Invar(FeNi36) (a large set №1 of 83 pieces). I dream of a set of hard alloy =)).
      If my memory serves me, then this is tungsten-cobalt hard alloys VK8
       
    7. SenthilJPrakash

      SenthilJPrakash Member

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      First time heard about Incoloy 909. Will have to read more later. Cheers.

      Mu understanding about gauge blocks...
      For general use standard grade gauge blocks common materials like tool steel would be good enough, I guess. Companies like Mitutoyo make theirs from tool steel and ceramic.

      Other standard material for gauge blocks are tool steel (various standards and grades available), ceramic (zirconia), tungsten carbides and sometimes chromium carbides.
       
    8. GoodCat

      GoodCat Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Incoloy - this is the instrumental alloy. It was discovered at the beginning of the last century. 909 tеhis is one of its modifications.

      "For general use standard grade gauge blocks common materials like tool steel would be good enough"
      Steel is not used at all for the manufacture of gauges and precision instruments. Steel is an alloy of iron with carbon as well as other chemical elements in which the iron content is not less than 45%. In these alloys, less than 10% iron, this is not steel =)

      The best choice is tungsten carbide (I dream of such a set) Solid as a diamond with minimal temperature expansions and at the same time not split if dropped on the floor, unlike ceramic.
       
    9. s.weinberg

      s.weinberg Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Incorrect. As Senthil pointed out, Mitutoyo, pretty much the gold standard for metrology, uses steel for general-use gage blocks:
      https://ecatalog.mitutoyo.com/Individual-Metric-Square-Gage-Block-C1663.aspx
       

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