HARD METAL LINOTYPE
This excerpt is straight out of a Linotype Salesman's Handbook dated June, 1954
A 30-em model can be equipped at the factory to cast V-240 metal at an
extra charge. This metal is
intended for Telephone Directory work or any type of standing job, such as a
mail order catalog, a price list or any job that is corrected from time to time
and new matter inserted before printing, that does not call for a slug in excess
of 8 point, 15 ems. It can also be
used for other composition where hardness of slug is required.
Hard metal contains 14% tin, 24% antimony and 61% lead, and other
ingredients in small percentages, which calls for a crucible temperature 100
degrees above regular Linotype metal's, 4 - 11 1/2 - 84 1/2 at 535 degrees.
The exact proportions and temperature have varied in recent years.
Supplied as regular hard metal equipment are the Mergenthaler Electric
Pot (Comet type) with stainless steel envelope-type crucible heaters, special
mouthpiece and mouthpiece wiper, the Pierson Intensifier, for maintaining full
plunger pressure to the end of the stroke, the Telephone Directory Assembling
Elevator, for facilitating setting from both positions of the matrix in the same
line, and three U.A. molds with special liners, for systematic rotation and
The successful use of hard metal demands an observance of prescribed care
and operation far in excess of anything experienced in regular metal usage.
Metal can only be used once, electric current must be non-fluctuating in
voltage, temperature in crucible and at mouthpiece and in mold must be held
within definite tolerances, precise cooling must be used, production must be
curbed to a rate of 3 slugs per minute, molds, mouthpiece and crucible throat
must be cleaned often and with regularity, and the entire machine must be kept
in faultless condition.
Because a prerequisite to the successful use of V-240 hard metal is a
casting mechanism in perfect condition plus that experienced fitting and testing
which is assured at the factory, we do not recommend the application of this
equipment to an outstanding machine.
Hard metal has a definite and limited purpose. It is not something to be lightly undertaken as a cure-all to overcome the wearing down of slugs. It is only for those offices who can afford the price of its maintenance and who have the personnel to appreciate its demands. Inquiries into its use should study the "Hard Metal Data", in Executive Letter dated January 22, 1940, for an insight into the conditions and practices to which all users have found it essential to conform to make the system a commercial success.