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September 2017

News in History: Discovery of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel alloys have revolutionized metallurgy and the world, but how did stainless steel come to be? And why is it so revolutionary?

In the year 1912, an English scientist by the name of Harry Brearley was experimenting with different iron alloys. With war on the horizon, Brearley was trying to create an alloy that could better resist corrosion, for use in rifle barrels. While experimenting, Brearley found that the addition of greater than 12% chromium led to an iron alloy with superior resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Brearley noted that the resulting alloy “resisted attack even after months of exposure to acid fumes” (P.C.M.I. Short Course pg. 1), and coined the term “stainless steel”. The alloy Brearley created would come to be known as stainless steel 420, and would become popular for the commercial production of cutlery.

At approximately the same time as Brearley was studying chromium infused iron alloys, Benno Strauss and Edward Maurer were researching the properties of chromium-nickel iron alloys. Strauss and Edward’s work began to plateau, as their iron alloys were highly corrosion resistant, but were unworkable due to carbide precipitation that led to cracking. However, Maurer discovered an annealing treatment involving a water quenching, which forced the carbide into solution and allowed the alloy to become workable. The alloy that Maurer and Strauss created would come to be known as V2A stainless steel, and would become popular for use in the commercial production of nitric acid and synthetic ammonia.

The superior corrosive resistance of stainless steel has made its study one of the largest fields of metallurgy, and has revolutionized nearly all forms of industry. In fact, stainless steel alloys have become the most researched alloy set in the entire world, due to their versatility, price, and the various mechanical properties they can achieve with varying alloy composition.

Reference:
Allen, D. M., & Krishnamurti, G. (1990). P.C.M.I. Short Course- The Photochemical Machining

Stainless Steel. North Attleboro, MA: Photochemical Machining Institute.

August 2017

What is photochemical etching?

Photochemical etching (PCE), also known as photochemical machining (PCM), is the use of photo-reactive resist to fabricate a metal part based on desired dimensions. PCE/PCM are similar to printing processes, using a photo tool to print part dimensions onto photo-resist coated metal, which is then developed and etched, resulting in the desired part. This process produces intricate parts with tolerances (as low as ± .01 mm) that would be otherwise unachievable with processing methods such as laser cutting, water-jet cutting, stamping, punching, or die-cutting.

The main advantage of photochemical etching over other machining processes is that it doesn’t introduce any sources of mechanical stress to the part, ensuring all parts maintain the mechanical properties of the customer’s selected metal (or metal alloy). Since the machining in this process occurs by dissolving the unwanted metal via chemical reaction, the burring, shearing deformation, and ablative deformation typically associated with other machining processes is avoidable.

PCE/PCM uses a reusable plotter film to apply part characteristics, meaning that once a photo tool has been made once, it can be reproduced a thousand times over, using the same identical plotter film. This property allows for short notice availability of high quantities of parts, and allows for a lower production costs for customers.

In summary, PCE/PCM is an efficient, low cost method of producing parts with tight tolerances and minimal imperfections, whilst providing customers with the optimal part manufacturing experience.


June 2017

UWE’s Recent College Internships

United Western Enterprises has recently added two college interns Sean Dyer and Corey Kerdman-Andrade to the UWE family. While home for the summer from Boise State University, Sean came to UWE to help create our trusted products for our customers as well as get real-world business and marketing experience. Corey is attending Moorpark College where he is studying chemical engineering. Corey found the perfect place to get hands-on experience at UWE, where he works in forming as well as chemical monitoring. Through their experiences gained with our team at UWE, these college interns will be able to supplement their classroom learning and prepare for their promising careers.


May 2017

UWE exhibiting at the Space Tech Expo

United Western Enterprises Inc. will be exhibiting in the 5th annual Space Tech Expo located at the Pasadena Convention Center in California. We will be exhibiting on Tuesday May 24 through to Wednesday May 25. Come by and meet the team who will be located at Booth #7035. Space Tech Expo is known to be America's engineering and manufacturing meeting place for space technology. For Expo Passes or more information please visit www.spacetechexpo.com

Pasadena Convention Center
300 E Green Street
Pasadena, Ca 91101


April 2017

UWE Visits Moorpark College for Chemical Etching Presentation

On March 22nd 2017, United Western Enterprises' Vice President Mike Lynch visited the Lab for Material Engineering at Moorpark College. Here he was greeted by 31 enthusiastic students who attend Professor Scarlet Relle’s class. The focus of the presentation was to educate students on how the chemical etching process works and its benefits. Mike also went over the advantages of using chemical etching. The class engaged in the presentation and asked questions about the etching process, what types of materials could be etched, and even wanted to know what it was like to work at United Western Enterprises. Students left with a better understanding of chemical etching and also reached out to Mike Lynch seeking opportunities to intern at UWE.  United Western is looking forward towards partnering with Moorpark College about future ways the two can work together.


January 2017

UWE Gains Boeing DPD Procedure Requirement Approval

United Western Enterprises is proud to announce our approval status on meeting Boeing's Digitial Product Definition (DPD) and Coordinate Measurement Systems (CMS) Plotter standard requirements. We continue to pursue new opportunities which will grant improvements towards a more effective Quality Management System.


July 2015

United Western Enterprises Announces AS 9100C Certification.

United Western Enterprises is proud to announce the achievement of AS 9100C Certification. AS 9100C is the internationally recognized Quality Management System standard for the aviation, space and defense industries. The AS 9100C quality standard is based on the ISO 9001:2008 standard, with additional quality system requirements that are specific to the aerospace industry. The aerospace and defense industry is highly regulated and demands the highest level of quality standards for the manufacture of products.


This new certification for United Western Enterprises is in addition to the ISO 9001:2008 quality certification the company had already attained at its Manufacturing facility in Camarillo, California. Many of the aerospace industry’s manufacturers and suppliers around the world require AS 9100C Certification as a condition of doing business with them.


Michael Lynch, Vice President of Operations for United Western Enterprises commented “This is a significant milestone for us. The AS 9100C certification complements our existing quality management system and industry accreditations, and reflects our commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.”


Mat Simpkins, Chemist and Compliance Manager for United Western Enterprises added “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment. This certification confirms that our manufacturing processes meet the requirements of the aerospace and defense industry.”


United Western Enterprises, Inc.’s AS 9100C certification can be viewed by clicking here.


About United Western Enterprises, Inc.


Photo chemical etching specialists since 1969. United Western Enterprises is a leading manufacturer of thin metal parts. Which meet the customer’s design expectations, delivery schedule and satisfaction. This is accomplished by people of high integrity through effective customer service and continual process improvement at a price that will ensure the customer the best value available.