Editor's Choice

Axiom raises the bar

Second Quarter 2023 Editor's Choice Hydraulic systems & components

Hydraulic component manufacturers are constantly challenged to meet the increasing customer demand for high quality, readily available parts. Axiom Hydraulics has risen to this challenge, and since 2021 has been the official distributor in South Africa of continuous cast iron bar for world-leading materials manufacturer, Dura-Bar. Axiom can now deliver a product with superior performance and significant cost savings to its customers.

Established in 1959, Axiom Hydraulics is one of South Africa’s oldest hydraulic companies, and specialises in the design, supply, repair, reconditioning, and servicing of a wide range of hydraulic equipment. With state-of-the-art production, design and testing capabilities at its 5500 m2 Johannesburg-based facility, the company has a large stockholding of some of the world’s leading hydraulic brands. Axiom also has the expertise to design high quality, durable manifolds in its integrated manifold design centre.

What sets Dura-bar apart from other materials is its composition. Dura-Bar is the largest producer of 5 to 66 cm diameter iron bar in the world. The company is unique in the industry in creating the iron bar stock in a horizontal, continuous casting process,

without utilising any sand. This is a completely different process to traditional iron sand castings. Dura-Bar is a new product in Axiom’s range. The company supplies the raw Dura-Bar product and also machines it into added-value finished components like manifolds.

It is the type and distribution of graphite in Dura-bar that influences the properties, and results in the free machining characteristics, excellent noise and vibration damping, thermal conductivity, and wear resistance. Among its many benefits are longer tool life and price competitiveness, while still maintaining world-class quality. Dura-Bar’s superior machinability virtually eliminates the need for deburring, resulting in decreased cycle times, and higher productivity. Its fine-grained microstructure also allows excellent surface finishes after machining. Finishes to 10 RMS can be achieved without secondary operations such as grinding and honing. Users benefit from the cost saving advantages the material provides by extending tool life, increasing machinability by 30% and reducing the overall cost of manufacturing – all at a competitive price.

Axiom can offer a comprehensive range of continuous cast iron bar stock. Profiles range from rounds to squares, rectangles and tubes. Dura-Bar ductile iron is a cost-saving alternative to low medium carbon steels and has similar strengths with excellent free machining properties, which is why Axiom uses it for all its ductile iron manifolds. Dura-Bar is stocked in several grades of ductile iron and grey iron, as well as additional non-stock grades which can be ordered in volume quantities.

Among the host of applications for Dura-Bar in the fluid power industry are gears, cylinder blocks, manifolds, end caps, gear rack housings, pump and compressor components, glands, manifolds, pistons, rotors and valves, and in the power transmission industry coupling hubs, pulleys and sprockets.

Material preparation is a critical process in machining and it is often a time-consuming operation that can lead to reduced productivity, increased costs, material wastage, inconsistent quality, safety hazards, and equipment wear and tear. To alleviate some of these problems, Axiom recently invested in the Amada THV460 double head milling machine.

This highly productive twin spindle machine allows automatic milling of four surfaces with one setting, reducing setting time, increasing efficiency, and lowering running costs. The THV series of duplex milling machines handles up to 1200 x 1200 x 400 mm material and the machines are equipped with two milling heads which self-centre to the component to reduce setting time. Each head can be fitted with multi-face cutter blocks to mill faces and corners in the same operation. This enables a fully automatic plate machining with one material setup, without repositioning the material. The result is a high angularity and parallelism of the finished workpiece, and a much shorter processing time. The machine is easy to operate using interactive controls.

Axiom estimates that the Amada duplex milling machine has increased productivity three-fold, as well as increasing output and quality of production, and has significantly reduced job throughput times.


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