Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby ConnRiver » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:55 am

I'm going to get going with a diesel wheel project. I'm looking for nickel silver bar online but so far have not found which nickel silver alloy is commonly used in model railroading. Anyone have that information?

On OnlineMetals.com I'm looking at Nickel Silver Round 792. Thanks.

Brian Chapman
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby areibel » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:38 am

I don' t think I've ever seen a specific alloy or requirement for NS wheels, I think they started using it more for it's corrosion resistance compared to regular brass so I don't think it would really matter. If there is enough nickel content to call it nickel silver I'd guess it would work/
The only way to be 100% certain would be to talk to someone who makes wheels or has them made- I don't know if
Matt at Fox Valley Models or someone at Reboxx or Intermountain would be willing to spill any trade secrets?
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby ConnRiver » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:51 am

Thanks, Al, good ideas. Well, I think I'll order a one-foot long x .375" dia. bar ($15) to play with. And, I can pursue the alloy question down the line if necessary.

Maybe there's a way to test conductivity? I'll google that, see what comes up.

-Brian C.

Ha! Just found instructions for testing conductivity. I can compare the alloy I'm purchasing against existing model railroad NS wheels.
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby Richard-B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:21 pm

The critical issue is NOT conductivity... it is machine-ability.
On the recommendation of many long-time modeler machinists, I purchased a 3/4in bar of LedLoy...
also known as ANSI 12l14 steel.
See: https://www.speedymetals.com/informatio ... ial38.html
---------------------------------------------------------
Richard Brennan - http://www.tt-west.com
Somewhere between Shenzhen and Budapest...
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby MacG » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:01 pm

The best nickel silver for a lathe is CuNi7Zn39Pb3Mn2 (CW400J). The second best would be CuNi12Zn30Pb1 (CW406J). Less than 25% zinc (Zn) is poorly millable, has a less machinability.
Lok-n-Roll.de - we are shipping worldwide :wink:
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby Bernd » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:26 pm

I know of a modeler that models in On3. He made his wheels from stainless steel, 303 stainless to be exact. He said that the metal provided better traction. Conductivity wasn't a problem either.

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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby krokodil » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:50 am

We use also stainless steel for the wheels. Also from my opinion and experiences the stainless flange and the nickel silver rail provides the best electrical contact. (Much much better than for eg brass and nickel silver, or brass wheels on brass rails, what is the worst I ever saw - have 4-5 locomotives with brass wheels in H0, and some old Zeuke TT machines originally nickel plated wheels, after wear off, the performance was heavily degraded.).
On top of that, the color of the stainless flanges is very realistic, very close to the original wheels.
Greetings from Austria
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Re: Nickel Silver alloy for wheels?

Postby ConnRiver » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:38 am

You guys are tops! Really good information, thank you much.
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