Drawing up a measurement report
At CIREX, ‘measuring is knowing’ is an important aphorism. Once the first pieces have been cast, the product is inspected for its dimensions. In this manner, customers and CIREX technicians have a good picture of the dimensioning of the cast piece. All of the measurement data are summarised in a measurement report so that the definitive version of the cast piece is recorded precisely.
This measurement report compares the dimensions in the drawing with the product’s actual dimensions. Any deviations found in the dimensions are discussed with the customer. If it involves a functional dimension, then we coordinate jointly about the improvement of this dimension. This can be achieved through small changes in the matrix, for example. If it involves non-functional dimensions, the decision may be made to use the product as it is because the cast piece is properly applicable. Dimensioning is an extremely important aspect, but functionality and deployability also play an important role.
Measurement instruments at CIREX
The CIREX locations in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic both have a fully equipped measurement lab. CIREX uses various measurement instruments to measure products. The most commonly used instruments are:
Proper measurements require precise measurement equipment. 3D measurement equipment is ideal for this purpose. The cast pieces are measured in 3D using a product specific measurement program.
CIREX measurement labs have 3D-coordinate measurement equipment. For a great range of measurements, these machines can measure and inspect large and small pieces of work in a 3D environment. The measurement equipment’s high degree of precision ensures that you obtain a reliable measurement. This safeguards the function of your product.
The combination of modern measurement equipment, user-friendly software and professional employees ensure that you are guaranteed a reliable measurement. In addition, a piece can be measured and/or inspected in a short time. The 3D measuring equipment is deployed primarily for measuring new products and for quality assurance of existing castings.
In our constant search for improvement of our production processes and increasingly stringent quality requirements from our customers, CIREX has invested in an optical 3D scanner, sometimes called a “blue light” scanner.
This scanner makes a 3D scan of the cast piece and compares it to the theoretical 3D model. Any dimension deviations are visualised with colour, which makes these immediately visible. At a single glance, you can see where possible deviations occur and how large these are. The great advantage of this is that in an extremely short time, there is an indication of a product’s dimensioning and quality, even if the product has a complex shape. You no longer need to develop an entire measurement program, as is the case with 3D measuring equipment for example.
The 3D-scan generates accurate, high-resolution scans quickly. In contrast to measuring several points or measuring using a laser, the scanner records the entire geometry of the cast piece in a dense cloud of points. Thanks to our measurement technicians’ solid training, we are now able to measure our products even more efficiently and accurately. This takes the quality of our services to an ever higher level.
To measure surface roughness, our measurement lab is equipped with a roughness tester. In surface physics, roughness is a term that refers to unevennesses in the height of the surface. This tester can determine the roughness of the unprocessed surface of the cast piece.
Roughness values are indicated in the units of Ra, Rz and Rmax.Cast pieces from CIREX generally have roughness is ranging from (Ra) 1.6 to 6.3. These values depend on the steel alloy selected.
Hardness is a property of metals and is defined as the resistance that the material exhibits against permanent mechanical deformation. At CIREX, the hardness of a material can be analysed according to various scales of hardness. The hardness scale selected depends on the type of material and the requirements.
We use modern, automated hardness testers to determine the hardness of your products. CIREX can perform a hardness analysis using the following methods:
- Rockwell hardness: uses a bullet-shaped or cone-shaped penetrating body. In a Rockwell test, hardness is interpreted as “resistance to local penetration”. The test determines the depth to which a penetrating body (spherical or cone-shaped) has penetrated after being tested with a standard testing load. This results in a hardness number that can be read off immediately after removing the testing load. Rockwell hardness is expressed as a number on a particular scale. The Rockwell scales used most often for steel are the B and C scales.
- Brinell hardness: the oldest method that is still regularly used. The hardness tester used by this test is a spherical penetrating body. For Brinell hardness tests, a bullet is pressed into the material to be tested. This is a hardened steel bullet, usually with a diameter of 10 mm. The pressing force can be adjusted depending on the material to be investigated. Based on the impression made on the material, the Brinell hardness is determined.
- Vickers hardness: in this hardness test, a diamond pyramidal penetrating body with a top angle of 136° is pressed into the object with a given force (F). Within a few seconds, the force is built up and maintained for a period of between 10 and 15 seconds. After the removal of the force, both diagonals are measured using a measurement microscope. The hardness can be assessed by determining the surface area deflected using the Vickers formula.
CIREX naturally has other classic measurement instruments such as:
- Pen callipers and ring callipers
- Vernier callipers
Calibration of the measurement equipment
To guarantee its proper operation, our measurement equipment is periodically calibrated by certified partners. The calibration data is monitored closely so that no measurements are made with measurement equipment that has not been calibrated. The calibration data are recorded and archived in a report.