Issue: A provider of end fittings for the Utility Market wanted to convert from cast iron fittings to aluminum to eliminate corrosion and an additional coating required to reduce corrosion. Bar stock was considered but ruled out as being too costly due to the shape involved. A casting was considered but decided against due to the strength requirements need to hold the power lines in place.
Concept: Review the end product with the customer to determine which process offers the best cost to performance ratio.
Verify: Once the design is created, Mueller ran a computer simulation to verify metal flow and also review tool stresses to ensure part can be manufactured repeatedly without breakage or excessive wear to the impact punch or die.
Propose: Aluminum impact extrusion design, price, and lead time presented to the customer. The aluminum impact extrusion was proposed with impressions saved the customer a large amount of machining. The impressions were uncovered by machining the back side of the aluminum impact extrusion which opened up the cavities and completed the part without excessive machining.
Solution: The best aluminum impact extrusion design was created for the application. Features that benefited both processes of machining and impact extrusion were agreed upon. Benefit to the customer: A lightweight corrosion resistant part was created that had the strength of a solid billet part without having to be coated. Benefits to cost and the environment made this aluminum impact extrusion a viable solution.