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Re: [BKARTS] Service/Foundry type



Hi,
Having lurked for a long while I now find myself reading about a subject dear to my heart. I have been casting type using Intertype and Monotype machines for a long time.
Brass type is the hardest, maintains an edge well and will not melt in normal use.
Zinc based type is the hardest of the non brass types. The melting point depends on the actual composition of the alloy. However, it is unpopular with type casters as the zinc does destroy much of the flow necessary when casting new type. In the UK this type is termed Mazak although that is a generic name.
Foundry type is the hardest of the types cast using the tin, antimony, lead alloy. It varies in composition from foundry to foundry but in sizes over 12 point is well serviceable for short runs of foiling. Melts at temperature in excess of 700 degrees fahrenheit.
Monotype is the softest of the allors used in casting. It melts at 730 degrees fahrenheit and most of the type around is of this sort. It generally has a square nick in the body of the character.
All type metals have been designed to melt over a short temperature range. This is to allow for easy casting. They also show a certain flow characteristc while molten and so fill the matrix quickly and without leaving voids.
Until the lower melting point is reached, more than 700 degrees, they remain solid and exhibit little plasticity until melting point is reached.
I have use all of these type and they will successfully foil at the temperature used - about 150 degrees. The degree of hardness will help preserve the printing edge, although they all polish to some degree but this is determined by the substrate more than the hardness of the type.

For monotype to melt in the press the temperature must be way too high and says more about the operator than the type.
Mike
Letterpress printer and typecaster in England.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nancy Bloch 
  To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU 
  Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 4:33 AM
  Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Service/Foundry type


  I too have had foundry type melt, but never brass. Actually it was monotype
  which I believe melts at a lower temperature than foundry. I also find that the
  service type is rougher around the edges; that is, not as clean and sharp as
  brass. Although much less expensive.
  To all of you who know alot more than I do: is service type made of zinc?

  Nancy Bloch

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            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
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            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
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