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When to Use Dura-Bar

Is Dura-Bar a Good Fit for Your Application?

inventory-dura-barThere is a wide selection of parts currently made from steel, castings and other materials that could be easily made from Dura-Bar. Of course, not all applications are ideal and many variables factor into the material decision. The most critical variable is the performance of the part in its application; but material cost, manufacturing cost, machine tools used, tooling consumption and shop floor practices all play a part. We suggest using a form, fit and function approach to determine if Dura-Bar should be considered for a particular application:

Form: Does Dura-Bar come in a shape and size that would work?

Fit: Can the part being processed take advantage of Dura-Bar's manufacturing benefits?

Function: Will Dura-Bar meet the requirements of the part in the application and which grade should be used?

Form, Fit & Function


Is Dura-Bar available in a shape and size that could be used as an alternative to the current material? Let's find out:

Material Shape - Dura-Bar is a bar product - round, rectangle, square, tube and plate. If a part is currently machined from a bar product or castings, Dura-Bar material is probably available that will work. Dura-Bar is not produced as strip, sheet, coil or pipe.

Material Size -

  • Dura-Bar continuous-cast rounds (similar to hot rolled) are stocked from .625" in diameter up to 20" diameter
  • Dura-Bar XL material is produced as a permanent mold and is available in 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 inch round diameters
  • Cold finished bars are available up to 6" in diameter
  • Squares are available up to 12.250"
  • Rectangles are made up to 18" thick and 24" wide
  • Bars are typically produced in 6 and 12 foot lengths

Material Weight - A Dura-Bar part is 8-10% lighter than one made from steel.


How well does Dura-Bar fit into the manufacturing process that exists for the part and what Dura-Bar advantages are significant to the processing?

Dura-Bar is engineered to be machined fast, with good tool life, on a consistent basis. The more your application is machined, the more you should save.

Dura-Bar often excels when:

  • Machining a large part of the raw material away
  • Drilling, tapping and deep grooving is required
  • Deburring is required
  • Run times are over several minutes
  • Heat treating is required
  • Machining after heat treating is required
  • Machining tools have the ability to machine faster than current material allows

Additionally, Dura-Bar solves manufacturing problems by:

Increasing - Parts Per Hour, Shop Capacity, Material Consistency, Material Quality, Inventory Efficiency and Product Availability.

Decreasing - Total Part Cost, Deburring Time, Cycle Times, Overtime, Material Lead Time and Component Weight


Will a particular Dura-Bar grade perform the critical activities of the part? If so, which one is best to use?

Every material has a long list of properties and characteristics. No material grade is exactly like another. The properties of all materials vary widely by specification and treatment. Dura-Bar has different grades also. A straight side-by-side listing of the properties does not usually tell the full story. Consideration must be given to those properties that are most important for the application and the additional cost for going above the minimum acceptable levels.

Keep in mind the following:

  • In general, Dura-Bar ductile irons are good alternatives for most low and medium carbon alloy steels
  • Grade 65-45-12 for low-carbon steels like 1010, 1018, 1020, 12L14, 1212 and 1215
  • Grade 80-55-06 for medium-carbon steels like 1040, 1060, 1045, 1141 and 1144
  • Grade 100-70-03 for high wear resistance and in applications using heat treated steel with hardness values below 302 BHN
  • Dura-Bar often replaces static castings and some aluminum applications
  • Dura-Bar values are listed as minimums, while most steel is listed as typicals
  • Other materials are produced and tested in a multitude of locations, while Dura-bar is made in only one location, a big key to its consistency
  • Many parts are engineered with a high multiple safety factor, so specific properties do not usually have to be equal

This part of the analysis can be technical and confusing. Please contact us with questions regarding your specific application. Our hands-on experience with many applications allows us to professionally work with you to determine if your part is ideal for Dura-Bar. We help every step of the way to make sure you receive the full advantage (and profits) from using Dura-Bar. Really, the transition is fairly simple and we will give you the support you need to make it easy.