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Different companies that offer casting repairs, even those within the Metalock International Association, have alternative views and even different answers to these questions. Answers here are a reflection of our experiences and policies and are cautious / considered responses to common enquiries.

What is Metalock? Metalock is a highly specialised cold mechanical metal stitching repair process that is free from heat and associated stresses / distortion that welding may inflict. High strength predictable repairs can be accurately gauged and calculated. Dissimilar materials can be joined.


Stitching and Metalock – aren’t they the same thing? No. If you have not worked for Metalock [and on a variety of jobs] then you really haven’t done metalock – Our locks are different shapes / materials from anyone else – tools, jigs and guides / format are our own. Repco plugging, Irontite locks and a host of wannabe products have their niche – but aren’t metalock. Yes - Metalock has been around”forever” and the name has become synonymous with metal stitching but they are not the same thing.  It is flattering to have sales companies compare themselves to Metalock but they are often dishonest in isolating a product shape or material from 40 years or more ago and inferring that is what we are about today [for some reason they keep using the phrase “trust us”]. E.g. some say we use their products or tapered screws as part of a Metalock repair – as if!  We don’t rest on our laurels. Providing value, service and solutions through continued innovation /development is what this Metalock company is about.


Are all Metalock companies the same? No. A lot of variation occurs within branches of the same company, more so with different organisations – let alone firms from overseas. Some companies will have a lot of capacity /experience in a very limited number of industries. Many companies now derive their main income through onsite machining, welding, engineering or manufacturing and sales. Our company is special in that it derives 80% + of its income through Metalock casting repairs – and use our machining capacity to finish jobs efficiently. Variation and innovation – with over 50 odd years and 100,000 jobs, we doubt any other company has performed as diverse a range of casting repairs as ourselves.


Are Metalock repairs expensive? Compared to replacement - probably not. If compared to welding - then Yes. Why? Materials used are generally nickel alloy and are an especially manufactured propriety product. The Metalock process is labour intensive. Tooling and equipment we use / carry to site must be the best available to ensure repairs are carried out effectively - ie On a medium job our pneumatic tools, jigs, materials etc, would have a replacement value up to $20,000 as many tools are especially designed, manufactured or modified for our specific requirements.


Are Metalock repairs permanent? Many are long term – if cause of initial failure is established and fixed and enough repair strength can be “installed.” Certainly accident damaged items are generally more permanent repairs than those in high load / stress applications where fatigue may occur. Every job is different and should be evaluated on its merits. This leads to the following question.


Are repairs guaranteed?  Yes and No. Many factors will affect guarantees – Age, condition, application, access, and timeframe allowed. Many jobs are guaranteed – Some are best effort only.  But you will be told up front. Most welders will not guarantee a repair but will correctly state whether they have followed procedures. The best welders generally stay away from castings because of the inherent difficulties commiserate with these materials.

Questions on how Metalock repairs vs welding are covered in the Welding Castings section of this website whilst Comparisons to other methods are covered in Metal Stitching


Any Limitations?  Yes, Ultra high temperatures are problematic. Also castings that are undrillable - though with the carbide tooling and experience we have, even these seemingly unworkable materials are sometimes repairable. Ultra thin materials are also very difficult. Thickness over 6 "  are ok / awkward work requiring cutting out sections for access, extension to tooling or right angle gear are not rare /onsite works in difficult environments are what we are here for.


Common Metalock Applications? Usually anything Cast Iron or Cast Steel – but the Metalock process can be applied to: All Castings, Aluminium Alloys, even Steel plate. Due to the cold nature of repairs environments that are potentially explosive such as underground mines, Ships /fuel tankers, Chemical plants and refineries use us [even on fabricated steel structures]. On Aluminium sections where concern of softening /misalignment is unacceptable, or dismantling is difficult / expensive. [some examples are outlined in the Technical support section]


Strength of Metalock repair? A good Metalock repair is around 80% of the castings original strength, with full strength / 100% realised by using high tensile Masterlocks in conjunction with Metalocks as part of the repair. Even more strength is possible through reinforcements, though theses must be used carefully.


Casting broken / parts missing? This is fairly common - we stock a large range of castings [And have them made at a local foundry in different thicknesses] to suit most jobs. Common or re-occurring sections are cast up and final machined upon receipt of casting to allow for any differences / changes that manufacturers have made. Due to long casting timeframes and costs associated with making complex patterns [and as machining times from solids have decreased substantially] few new castings are now made. Regardless of format, the new sections are machined /fitted and Metalocked into position - followed by final machining or hand finishing as required. We try to avoid prefabricating steel sections – though they are sometimes necessary.