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Lithium copper pieces eliminate porosity, improve casting conductivity. (Case History).

West Coast Stainless Products, a custom caster located in Huntington Park, California, relies on lithium to degas its molten baths. Founded in 1970, the 46-employee foundry primarily serves the pump industry, but it also produces 50 different alloys for custom castings from 1-4500 lb.

In the past, lithium has been supplied in copper cartridge form. Due to concerns about handling pure lithium, the firm has had to deal with restrictions on shipping. In addition, moisture may infiltrate the cartridge, resulting in an explosive reaction when the cartridge is introduced to the molten metal.

Today, West Coast Stainless Steel is using 2% lithium copper alloy pieces provided by Belmont Metals, Inc., Brooklyn, New York.

The lithium copper pieces come cleaned and polished, which removes the surface oxides that often can cause defects in fine-detailed castings. Two-percent lithium copper also is an ideal deoxidizer for pure copper, copper-base alloys and precious metals. It helps eliminate gas holes, porosity and metal oxides while increasing fluidity, resulting in more successful castings. Unlike other deoxidizers such as phosphorus copper, lithium copper allows the foundry to make pure copper castings with close to 100% conductivity (as opposed to the 30% or less conductivity that can result when using other deoxidizers).

According to West Coast Stainless CEO Charles Elrod, the product is "easy to store as well as ship." In addition, he said that the alloy pieces allow for pouring a clean heat of metal.

Circle No. 003 on last page.
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Comment:Lithium copper pieces eliminate porosity, improve casting conductivity. (Case History).
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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