Keith Hoge, Product Manager
Advanced carbon/graphite materials have found application across industries, solving pressing lubrication problems that conventional oil and grease cannot solve. As such, severe service lubrication conditions are only getting “more severe” as engineers devise newer advanced designs to handle a broader range of conditions.
These designs are often limited by their “rubbing components” (i.e., bearings, mechanical seal faces, valve seats, etc.), which experience significant wear and tear over time. Furthermore, these self-lubricating materials are unable to meet the demands of reaching higher temperatures, withstanding heavier loads, or operating in drier conditions.
Against this backdrop, there is one solution provider— in the advanced materials landscape—that has stood the test of time. For three quarters of a century, Metallized Carbon Corporation (Metcar) has been the gold standard of excellence in the production of versatile and durable carbon/graphite material grades. With 75 years of material development and applications experience, Metcar has created over 150 industry-leading materials, emerging as the premier carbon/graphite supplier to a wide variety of industries such as oil and gas, aerospace, energy, and industrial machinery.
So ubiquitous is Metcar’s presence that its carbon/ graphite materials are commonly found in vertical turbine pumps, high-temperature conveyors, fuel pumps and meters, and jet engines. “Essentially, our materials can handle application conditions that would cause alternative materials to fail. With decades of applications experience and intricate knowledge of our materials, we are equipped to handle some of the industry’s most challenging severe service lubrication problems,” asserts Keith Hoge, Product Manager of Metcar.
The adaptability and robustness of Metcar’s advanced materials is worth detailing. Whether a client needs a self-lubricating material that can withstand high and low temperatures, caustic chemicals, dry running conditions, or high loads and speeds, Metcar can either provide a suitable material grade or build a customized solution.
While the versatility of its products enables Metcar to meet the market demands, there is another underlying differentiator that gives the veteran company a competitive edge. Unlike some competitors who rely upon partners and vendors for day-to-day operations, Metcar controls all the processes of material production—from raw powders to finished parts—and has the resources to provide innovative, customized solutions.
With decades of applications experience and an intricate knowledge of our materials, we are equipped to handle some of industry’s most challenging severe service lubrication problems
In supporting its arsenal of advanced materials—150 material grades that are uniquely formulated and developed to handle exact client applications—Metcar has established a reliable technical support team that is unparalleled in the carbon/graphite industry. As Hoge notes, the support squad is one of the primary reasons organizations turn to Metcar to solve their most challenging problems. “They know that a solution furnished by Metcar is one that takes into account the latest in materials science and engineering,” adds Hoge.
To illustrate the prowess of one such customized solution, Hoge narrates a customer success story involving a major manufacturer of conveyor ovens for food production. The client had been using food-grade grease to lubricate the hundreds of roller bearings in its ovens, an expensive procedure that is equally unpleasant on the eye. Initially unaware of alternative methods that negate the need for grease, the company approached Metcar upon learning about metalized carbon graphite. Soon enough, the conveyor oven manufacturer was thrilled to get Metcar’s materials on test and into its units as quickly as possible. Since the deployment, the client has seen significant cost reductions and improved operational efficiencies.
Such tales of success have not dampened Metcar’s constant urge to improve its processes and materials. This is evident in the emphasis Metcar places on R&D efforts—using customer input, market research, and a large repository of test data to develop new materials and conduct extensive validation testing that results in superior solutions for its customers. This penchant for innovating has fueled Metcar’s evolution over the last eight decades. Since its inception as an impregnation facility in 1945, Metcar has surfaced as an expert in carbon/ graphite production and machining and continues to introduce newer products that have become a staple in industries such as wallboard manufacturing and pulp & paper production.
Although headquartered in Ossining, NY, Metcar has set up facilities in Mexico and Singapore, as well as a state-of-the-art processing facility in Upstate New York. Known as Metcar’s Aerospace Materials Division (AMD), this new site significantly increases capacity for graphitization and molten impregnation, two key processes that are critical to many of the company’s highly engineered material grades. The proximity of AMD to Metcar’s headquarters in Ossining, NY, combined with the cutting edge technology implemented in this facility, has allowed for an immediate increase in the production of high-quality materials.
As it continues to grow, Metcar vows to maintain its core philosophy— to promote a workplace culture that is driven by diversity, resourcefulness, and customer focus. On a closing note, Metcar is approaching its 75th anniversary! “As we reflect on our past, it is exciting to know that we have a clear vision for our future and will continue to be one of the best materials solution providers available,” concludes Hoge.