Material Specialties

Bronson & Bratton has decades of experience machining or grinding difficult materials. It takes skill and experience combined with the right machine and the right tooling for the job. Our knowledge and expertise can save your company time and money on difficult to machine parts. Specifically, if the part is complex or you have been unsatisfied with the quality of the product from other machining providers, please give us a call. Our customers appreciate our years of experience as well as our experienced engineers who are always available to answer questions.


Tungsten Carbide:

Cemented carbide, (sometimes called hardmetal), is a material made by "cementing" very hard tungsten monocarbide (WC) grains in a binder matrix of tough cobalt (or nickel) metal by liquid phase sintering.  With a hardness greater than 90 Rockwell, tungsten carbide is frequently beneficial for use in tools and components that experience high wear.  Our engineering staff can help you select the proper grade for your application.

Tool Steel:

There are literally hundreds of tool steels available with a wide range of characteristics.  We have made wear parts and tools out of many of them.  We have the capability to EDM, grind, hard turn, hard mill and polish these materials to exacting tolerances.

Stainless Steel:

Primarily used in the aerospace and medical markets, we have the capability to EDM, grind, turn, mill and polish these materials to exacting tolerances.


There are many different varieties of Inconel’s, each has a different composition, but all are generally nickel, with chromium as the second element. Inconel is a difficult metal to shape and machine using traditional techniques due to rapid work hardening. Inconel alloys are generally known for their resistance to oxidation and their ability to maintain their structural integrity in high temperature atmospheres.

Silicon Carbide:

Due to its wear resistance and chemical inertness, silicon carbide is commonly used in mechanical seals and bearings.  It’s high hardness, high stiffness, low density and insulating characteristics are also useful in some applications.

Silicon Nitride:

Silicon nitride has long been used in high-temperature applications. In particular, it was identified as one of the few monolithic ceramic materials capable of surviving the severe thermal shock and thermal gradients generated in hydrogen/oxygen rocket engines. Silicon nitride ceramics have good shock resistance compared to other ceramics. Therefore, ball bearings made of silicon nitride ceramic are used in performance bearings. A representative example is use of silicon nitride bearings in the main engines of the NASA's Space Shuttle.


Alumina, also known as Aluminum Oxide, is a hard wearing advanced technical ceramic material frequently used in a wide variety of industrial applications. Once fired and sintered, it can only be machined using diamond-grinding methods. It features high hardness and wear resistance, low erosion levels, high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and bio-inertness. Additionally, it can be highly polished making it useful for precision sealing applications like pumps and pistons. 


Zirconium alloys can be machined by conventional methods, but they have a tendency to gall and work harden during machining. Consequently, tools with higher than normal clearance angles are needed to penetrate previously work-hardened surfaces. Results can be satisfactory, however, with cemented carbide or high-speed steel tools. Carbide tools usually provide better finishes and higher productivity.


Stellite Alloys are utilized in applications that require high temperature strength and/or wear resistance. These same properties make them difficult to machine compared to more common materials. Stellite 6 is the most popular alloy for commercial applications and has a range of industrial uses.