How 25 years’ experience in machining Remko soft iron makes Metaltech Precision one of the best companies for machining challenging materials.

In the world of subcontract machining, tackling challenging materials is a true test of expertise. Branded Remko soft iron is a raw material with unique characteristics which plays a crucial role in various industries, but can be difficult to machine effectively.  

In this article, we’ll explore how 25 years’ experience in machining Remko soft iron makes Metaltech Precision one of the best machining companies for machining challenging materials.  

What is Remko soft iron? 

Iron with a low carbon content is referred to as ‘soft’ iron as it is easily magnetised and demagnetised (an iron that is difficult to demagnetise once magnetised is referred to as ‘hard’ iron). This makes it an ideal choice for applications requiring controlled magnetic fields.  

Remko (sometimes known as DTD5102 / DTD5092) is the trade name for an unalloyed soft magnetic iron, frequently specified by designers for components where excellent magnetic properties are required. 

Characteristics of Remko soft iron 

The unique characteristics of soft iron make it the ideal raw material for specific applications: 

  • Magnetic permeability
    Remko exhibits a high magnetic permeability, which means it can easily concentrate magnetic lines of force. This property makes it an excellent material for creating magnetic circuits in various devices, such as transformers and magnetic shielding. 
  • Low hysteresis loss
    Unlike some other materials, Remko has minimal hysteresis loss. Hysteresis loss occurs when energy is dissipated as heat during the magnetisation and demagnetisation process. Low hysteresis loss ensures the efficient operation of magnetic components. 
  • High electrical conductivity ~
    Remko also has good electrical conductivity, making it suitable for use in electromagnetic coils and solenoids. This conductivity allows for efficient transfer between electrical energy and magnetic energy. 

Applications of Remko soft iron 

These beneficial characteristics mean that Remko and other soft irons are increasingly specified for use in the manufacture of many performance-critical components, including: 

  • Electromagnetic coils
    Soft iron is often used to construct the cores of electromagnetic coils and solenoids. These components find applications in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing, for critical tasks such as controlling valves, actuators, and relays. 
  • Transformers
    One of the most common uses of Remko is in the cores of transformers. The high magnetic permeability of soft iron allows for the efficient transfer of electrical energy from primary to secondary coils. Transformers are essential in electrical distribution systems, helping to adjust voltage levels for various applications. 
  • Magnetic shielding
    Soft Iron is used in the construction of magnetic shields or enclosures to protect sensitive electronic equipment from external magnetic fields. This is critical in applications like medical devices, where electromagnetic interference can disrupt proper functioning. 
  • Electric motors and generators
    In electric motors and generators, Remko can be used in the core of the stator or rotor to enhance the magnetic field and improve efficiency. This results in more powerful and energy-efficient machines. 
  • Scientific research
    Soft iron is also used in scientific research, particularly in physics and geophysics experiments, where precise magnetic field control is required. It plays a crucial role in studying the Earth’s magnetic field and understanding fundamental physical phenomena. 

The challenges of machining Remko soft iron 

Remko and other forms of soft iron have unique characteristics making them increasingly in demand in manufacturing. Machining Remko can be challenging due to these specific characteristics and properties – fortunately, Metaltech Precision has 25 years’ experience in working with soft iron and is now expert in machining challenging materials such as Remko. 

Common challenges to be addressed when machining Remko include: 

  • High Ductility
    Remko is known for its high ductility, which means it can deform and stretch easily. While beneficial for certain applications, this property can pose challenges during machining. It may result in problems like work hardening, where the material becomes tougher and more resistant to cutting as it is worked. 
  • Gummy and adhesive behaviour
    Soft iron tends to exhibit gummy and adhesive behaviour when machined -it can stick to cutting tools and produce long, stringy chips. This can lead to increased tool wear and reduced machining efficiency. 
  • Low thermal conductivity
    Remko soft iron has relatively low thermal conductivity, meaning it does not dissipate heat well during machining. This can lead to localised heating and thermal stress on cutting tools, potentially reducing their lifespan and causing dimensional inaccuracies in the workpiece.  
  • Workpiece distortion
    Due to its magnetic properties, Remko can sometimes become magnetised during machining. This magnetisation can lead to workpiece distortion, which can be particularly problematic when machining parts with tight tolerances. 

Expert Remko machining at Metaltech Precision 

Years of experience have given Metaltech Precision a detailed understanding of the best way to machine Remko soft iron. To overcome the challenges of machining this difficult material, they must manage the process carefully, including: 

  • Proper tool selection
    Choosing the right cutting tools, coatings and geometries is crucial. Tools designed for machining soft and ductile materials can help minimise issues related to adhesion and tool wear. 
  • Cooling and lubrication
    Using adequate cooling and lubrication systems can help dissipate heat and reduce the risk of work hardening and tool wear. Coolants also help flush away chips and debris. 
  • Slow cutting speeds
    Lower cutting speeds can help manage heat generation and reduce the risk of work hardening. However, this may result in reduced productivity, so a balance must be struck. 
  • Anti-magnetisation techniques
    To prevent magnetisation, it may be necessary to demagnetise the workpiece before and after machining. This ensures dimensional accuracy and prevents interference with sensitive equipment. 

Versatile machining expertise at Metaltech 

Metaltech Precision has invested in the right people and processes to deliver high quality precision machining across a wide range of raw materials. We are expert in machining even the most difficult materials such as Remko, which few subcontract machine shops are able to manage effectively.  

For more information on our machining expertise, and how we can machine your Remko components, contact us on +44 (0) 1460 221737 or email

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