Category Archives: News and Updates

The history of engagement rings

(Last modified: January 21st, 2020)

metals4U engagement ring blog

At metals4U, we’re passionate about metal and its many uses.

One of the most romantic applications is in the crafting of engagement and wedding rings, which inspired us to learn more about the history of this tradition.

In the UK alone, we perform an average of 1,000 Google searches for “how to propose” and 246,000 searches for “engagement ring” every month, according to Google Keyword Planner, serving to emphasise that we are truly a nation obsessed with weddings and engagements.

Interestingly, December sees the highest spike for “how to propose” inspiration, with it almost doubling in search volume over the festive period.

But, how has this tradition evolved to become what it is today? We delved into the history books to find out…

A step back to ancient times

A symbol of unity, engagement rings go back as far as ancient Egypt, where couples would place a ring made of twisted plants on the fourth finger of the left hand. This was because Egyptians believed it connected to the heart by the vena amoris – a Latin word meaning “vein of love”. It was believed that the vein in the fourth finger on the left hand ran directly to the heart.

As well as rings made from plants, rings were also made from the other, higher quality materials, such as leather or ivory. It was said that the higher the quality of material, the wealthier the giver.

The introduction of two rings

In ancient Rome, women were given two rings on their wedding day, each made from a different metal. A gold ring was given for the woman to wear in public, and often symbolised wealth and importance, while an iron ring was given to be worn at home, to complete house duties, to reduce the risk of it becoming damaged. Rings had a secondary, less romantic meaning too and wedding bands during this era typically symbolised a man’s ownership of his wife, showing others that she was ‘spoken for’.

Age of Enlightenment era

The intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Eurpe during the 17th, 18th and 19th century introduced gimmel rings.

Gimmal rings symbolised love and usually included two or three hoops, or a clasped hand design. When several gimmel rings were worn together, they joined to create one ring, and the clasped hands symbolised the union of two people.

Scots-Irish claddagh and rose-cut diamonds were also commonly used in engagement rings during this period as they symbolised love and loyalty.

The Victoria era

The trend of engagement rings really took off as a result of the relationship between Queen Victoria and her husband. Victoria and Albert’s romance was seen as a symbol of wealth and upper classes. Engagement rings were also stripped down to simple bands, which were usually worn on the right hand and transferred to the left hand during the wedding ceremony.

It was also during the Victorian era that Tiffany and Co founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, created the iconic six-prong engagement ring design we know and love today. The six-prong arrangement, which houses the diamond, raised the stone above the setting and added glitz and glamour to a ring.

Present day

In more recent times, diamonds of all shapes, sizes and colours have taken centre stage on engagement rings.

The 1920s introduced geometric shaped diamonds, the 1970s saw square cuts becoming popular, while the use of precious gemstones such as sapphires and rubies became a popular trend in the 1980s.

That trend shot to prominence after Princess Diana’s iconic engagement ring, given to her by husband-to-be Prince Charles, was introduced to the world.

Gold and silver are commonly associated with engagement rings, and since around 1900, platinum, white and yellow gold have also become firm favourites among couples.

Today, engagement rings can vary from couple to couple, with some preferring more glitz and glamour, and others favouring more simple rings.

Custom wedding and engagement rings are also a big trend, with more and more couples preferring a bespoke ring to symbolise the uniqueness of their relationship.

Gryphon Racing FS2020 sponsorship-drivetrain progress

(Last modified: January 13th, 2020)

metals4U gryphon racing sponsorship drivetrain

Leeds Gryphon Racing Team have been working hard during the first few months of the new academic year to produce the working calculations to guide the style and development of their F20 Formula Student car.

To kick of the Formula Student 2020 sponsorship coverage, we’d like to bring you up to date with the progress of the drivetrain team being led this year by Roman Poraziński.

The drivetrain is the name given to the component parts from the transmission to the wheels; it is not part of the engine but the ‘train’ of parts that transfer the power created from combustion through the transmission, clutch and gears, the differential, and through to the axles and wheels to actually move the car.

metals4U gryphon drivetrain

Roman Poraziński.
Head of Drivetrain.

 

So far, Roman has led his team to calculate the brake forces to enable them to select the most appropriate brake system components, the rear bulkhead is also entering the design phase, as is a new, more ergonomic pedal box design to improve on weight saving and production issues faced in the production of last year’s FS car.

Roman’s team are also busy with the calculations on the layout and mounting of the shifting mechanism, along with successfully designing and completing the clutch actuation system- he certainly hasn’t been slacking!

 

 

 

 

For those of you that may be unfamiliar with how the drivetrain is incorporated into the design of the car, and what it does, below is a simplistic overview of the components it includes.

metals4U gryphon racing sponsorship drivetrain infographic

A basic guide to the drivetrain.

If you would like to keep up to date with all our sponsorship news, why not follow us on our social media channels?

 

 

 

How to recycle household waste metal

(Last modified: December 6th, 2019)

At metals4U, we are passionate about recycling, while TV programmes like Blue Planet have also helped to highlight the devastation caused by single-use materials.

metas4U recycle household metal blog

But while much of our focus is on reducing the use and waste of plastic in our day-to-day lives, statistics released by the trade board, European Aluminium show that the UK falls below the current Eurpoean average for aluminum recycling.

Metal is a material that is endlessly recyclable – aluminum drinks cans can be on sale as another can in just 60 days – so it’s crucial we each play our own part in recycling our waste metal.

To highlight the issue, we analysed the latest YouGov data to find the UK areas which are the best and worst for recycling household waste metal.

The results help illustrate where education and information on metal recycling is required.

The worst offending UK areas for not recycling metal waste (percentage of residents who rarely recycle or never recycle)

  1. Kensington and Chelsea – 47%
  2. Dumfries and Galloway – 45%
  3. Inverclyde – 45%
  4. Southampton – 37%
  5. Brent – 35%
  6. Greenwich – 35%
  7. Tendring – 34%
  8. Rushmoor – 34%
  9. Perth and Kinross – 34%
  10. Barking and Dagehnham – 32%

The top ten best recyclers (percentage of residents who recycle all or almost all metal waste)

  1. Burnley – 94%
  2. Tandbridge – 88%
  3. Rossendale – 87%
  4. Isle of Anglesey – 87%
  5. Denbridgeshire – 85%
  6. Gwynedd – 84%
  7. Monmouthshire – 84%
  8. Ryedale – 82%
  9. Mole Valley – 82%
  10. Derbyshire Dales – 81%

Can I recycle my household metal?

There are several myths surrounding the recycling of household metal waste.

The reality is that most household metals can be recycled.

And as with all household waste, it’s important to rinse metal before recycling it to ensure it does not contaminate other recycled waste.

Which household metals can I recycle?

The metals below can be recycled easily in your regular recycle bin.

  • Drink cans
  • Food tins (push the tin lid inside the tin)
  • Chocolate/sweet tins
  • Aluminium foil (scrunch the foil together to form a ball)
  • Aluminum food trays and tubes (remove any plastic caps)
  • Aerosol cans (remove the plastic cap)

The following household metals CANNOT be recycled in home recycling collections

  • Laminated food pouches (pet food, baby puree pouches that spring back when you scrunch the pouch)
  • Crisp packets and chocolate/sweet wrappers
  • Household appliances that contain metal (white goods, kettles, irons)
  • Kitchen utensils and metal pots and pans
  • Metal containers for chemicals

Where can I recycle household metal?

Metals that can be recycled with regular home collections can be placed in your usual recycling bins.

Some metals that aren’t currently collected by your local council may be able to be collected by third-party collectors, such as TerraCycle.

Recycle Now has a great guide on where and how to recycle most every-day objects.

metals4U sponsorship gears up for Leeds Gryphon Racing FS2020 success.

(Last modified: December 2nd, 2019)

Here at metals4U we are proud to be part of Leeds Gryphon Racing sponsorship for another IMechE Formula Student season. The team is made up from engineering students at The University of Leeds.

This year the team will be led by Zbigniew ‘Ziggy’ Pilichiewicz. Ziggy has already recruited his FS2020 team, organised the sub-team allocation, and is overseeing the R&D on FS20- their car for the Silverstone competition next August. As if that wasn’t enough, the Gryphon team have decided to work on 3 cars simultaneously- the F20, continued development on last year’s F19 with a view to entering it again once the revisions are implemented, and research into a driverless electric car, currently being developed under the working title of ‘F22’ which the team plan to enter in the IMechE Formula Student competition in 2022.

metals4U, Leeds Gryphon Racing, CDS tube

Lucy Mackie (Head of Class 2) & Zbigniew “Ziggy” Pilichiewicz (Team Leader) at metals4U Head Office in Wetherby.

Earlier this month, Ziggy and Lucy came to our Wetherby Head office to collect the mild steel CDS tubes necessary to start work on their new chassis construction.

The mild steel CDS tubes have already been laser cut by fellow Leeds Gryphon Racing sponsors, StageOne, and are the first stage in the development and improvement on last year’s design; the team expect the welding to be complete and have a rolling chassis by mid-December – with the team moving up 19 places at the Silverstone event last year compared to their 2018 performance, the team really is on track to be placed high up the leader board for this season.

CDS mild steel tube from metals4U

CDS mild steel tube supplied by metals4U

Over the coming months we will be taking a closer look at the team members and the R & D that will be shaping the design and performance decisions, why not follow us on our social channels to keep up to date with our sponsorship progress..

Do you know your periodic table metals?

(Last modified: November 20th, 2019)

We tested the nation to see if they knew their periodic table metals and whether they could match them to the correct symbols, and the results showed that more than a quarter couldn’t get them right.

Only 3% of 2,002 people tested got every question correct, while more than a quarter couldn’t guess a single periodic symbol for a metal.

periodic table, metals4U blog

People were also stumped by our fake metals, which we hid among the answers.

The fakes included Vibranium, from Marvel’s Black Panther movie, and Carbonadium and Omnium, both from X-Men.

Since so many have been left baffled, we have created a quiz featuring GCSE level questions. Will you fare any better?

 

 

Team HARE 19 take Silverstone by storm.

(Last modified: August 6th, 2019)

The FSUK competition at Silverstone over the weekend of July 19th -21st saw Team HARE-19 achieve their highest results in  20 years of competing in the annual IMechE competition.

Over 80 teams met to compete in the static and dynamic events over the course of the 3-day event.

The results obtained by the team were enough to place them 5th overall in the competition and be awarded 2nd place for the ‘British Team’ award out of over 80 teams that competed!

Team HARE 19’s Silverstone results and accolades.

Team HARE 19, and metals4U, are highly proud of the team achievements from the initial planning, design, and build phase right through to the static and dynamic events at Silverstone.The overall finishing position and points tally are the highest ever recorded by Team HARE since they started their Formula Student journey right back in 1999 which has led them to earn the coveted ‘Breakthrough Award’; this is presented to the team that has shown the highest level of improvement building on the previous year’s results. HARE-19 scored an incredible 604.9 total points this year compared to last year’s 21-point total; this is something they, and we, are immensely proud of.

Scrutineering complete

This year was a monumental undertaking by the team; a complete design overhaul coupled with an entirely new team has made this project the hardest, but most rewarding, project they as individuals have ever undertaken.

Team HARE 19 said they were delighted to have designed a car that is truly competitive against teams that have astronomical resources as their disposal. This bodes well for next year’s team who will refine, improve, and optimise the HARE-19 car and hopefully improve even further.

Getting ready for action!

Although the buzz from the Silverstone event is behind the team, there is no time for a rest just yet- the 2019 Formula Student season continues for Team HARE 19 as they compete at the Autodrom Most track as part of the ‘Formula Student Czech Republic’ events scheduled to take place between the 12th and 17th August. We will of course keep you posted about the team’s performance in Czechia (formally known as the Czech Republic) and hope you will join with us in wishing them all the very best of luck!

The regional trends behind metal theft

(Last modified: August 6th, 2019)

New research conducted by metals4U uncovered some of the key trends and stats relating to the issue of metal theft across England and Wales.

The study showed that 16,552 incidents of metal theft were recorded across England and Wales in 2018, up 25% on the previous year’s figure.

Five sub-regions experienced increases of more than 100%, including Dorset, which has seen metal theft soar by a whopping 287% between 2017 and 2018.

As part of the campaign, metals4U examined the trends behind metal theft on a broader geographical level, while revealing how trends have reversed over the course of the last five years.

The introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 2013 enforced a ban on cash sales and required dealers to obtain licences.

This helped bring about a decline in metal thefts, though this has been followed during the last two years by a worrying increase.

Between 2014 and 2015, every region in England saw incidents of metal theft decrease, as well as in Wales, which enjoyed a 45% drop.

That decline continued the following year, with the East of England, London and the South West all seeing drops of more than 50%.

But the pace of improvement slowed significantly between 2016 and 2017 as many of the regions saw their figures start to level out.

While Yorkshire and the Humber saw a drop of 41%, and London enjoyed a decrease of 59%, other regions, like the North East (-4%) and the East of England (-5%), saw the number of recorded incidents stabilise.

Fast-forward 12 months and several regions have seen overall increases for the first time in five years.

The North East (16%), Yorkshire and the Humber (51%), East Midlands (41%), West Midlands (36%), East of England (26%), South East (19%) and South West (69%) all saw rises.

Just three regions saw figures drop between 2017 and 2018 – North West (-3%), Wales (-5%) and London (-21%).

It is these trends that are the basis behind metals4U founder Paul McFadyen’s calls for the government to work harder to enforce the Scrap Metal Dealers Act that had been so effective following its launch.

He said: “The Scrap Metal Dealers Act introduced six years ago did have an immediate impact on tackling the issue, and saw figures plummet, but the recent spike is perhaps a reflection that its effectiveness is diminishing.

“Every year, metal theft causes misery to thousands of individuals, who see vital train services cancelled, and to business owners, whose livelihoods are being threatened by forced closures or expensive repair-work.

“So, we’re calling on the government to allocate more resources to tackling the issue on a regional level, and we’re encouraging members of the public to do their bit by following Network Rail’s advice and reporting all suspicious behaviour.”

 

 

 

 

Team Hare Sponsorship- The Leadership Team

(Last modified: July 2nd, 2019)

The Formula Student 2019 season is rapidly approaching its climax with only around three weeks left to go until the Silverstone weekend; Team HARE are busy putting all their efforts into getting HARE-19 completely ready for the finals running from the 19th to the 21st July.

silverstone dates formula student metals4U

 

At this crucial point in the competition, we took some time to catch up with the leadership team to see how they have been dealing with steering the team towards the finish line.

Team Principal- Simon Roberts

team hare principal metals4U

“Over the past academic year, I have had the pleasure of leading a very talented, driven and dedicated team. My focus has been on ensuring the team runs as efficiently as possible as well as representing the team to the public and our wonderful sponsors.

The past 10 months have seen a complete evolution of the HARE vehicle with performance and reliability at the core of all development. The team, as a whole, have worked incredibly hard to complete all work to set deadlines and this has allowed for a good amount of crucially needed testing time. Although a lot of the hard work is done with, these final few weeks leading up to the event are still critical. But we are confident that our time is now and that we will return to top form.

This is truly one of the best teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I would like to thank all my teammates for the astounding work they have put in this year.

Thank you also to metals4U and all our sponsors for all their support. We look forward to bringing our all to FSUK 2019. See you There!”

 

Business Manager- Jack Welstead

team hare business manager metals4U

“My role as Business Manager involves simulating our Formula Student project as a real-world business, this means considering the cost of production, our required facilities and machinery, workforce, company profitability, customer care, forecasting sales and much more. To get this information across at events, it takes the form of a presentation. This is evaluated by a team of highly experienced engineers where we will be marked against hundreds of other competitors.

My role also involves all social media coverage and sponsor communications, this is very important to ensure the team gives an exciting and stimulating interaction with interested on-lookers.

This year we launched team branding through the 20th Anniversary logo to celebrate the team’s success over the last two decades and the “Our Time is Now”. My aim from the outset of this project has been to make the team look as impressive and professional as possible. I believe I have accomplished this through the large amount of sponsorship gains, new team kit, pit dress, and social media interactions.”

logos metals4U sponsorship of team hare

 

Project Manager-Michi O’Shea

team hare project manager metals4U

“My role involves initiating, planning and reviewing phases throughout the project to design, manufacture, build, then compete with our 2019 car.

Creating and working with a tight budget and timing really allows the creative and innovative side of people to come through, but it does pose challenges at times. This is especially true when trying to manage a detailed timing plan and forecast costs for each team, in addition to hitting targets and remaining competitive.

I am excited to see the hours of hard work put in by the team finally pay off at the competition!”

We wish them all the very best for the rest of their Formula Student 2019 journey… and we can’t wait to see HARE-19 in action and cheer them on from the sidelines next month!

 

 

 

 

 

Team Hare Sponsorship- The Suspension Team

(Last modified: June 11th, 2019)

metals4U are proud sponsors of Team HARE 2019; a group of extremely talented engineering students from The University of Huddersfield.

This week we asked Team HARE to take some time out of their busy schedules to update us on how the suspension team are getting on with their elements of the design and build project.

Each part of the Formula Student race car build must conform to stringent rules regarding construction, material qualities, and health and safety elements. Team HARE have been working hard to fulfil all the criteria to ensure complete compliance to the IMechE rules as the Silverstone static and dynamic testing dates draw closer.  

metals4U, team hare, IMechE rules

IMechE regulations for suspension design

Team HARE 2019 suspension team consists of 2 members, Danny Mall and Jack Lynas, they had this to say about how their department has been getting on.

“Our largest development for the year has been our move from 13’’ wheels to 10’’ wheels, saving roughly 15kg of unsprung mass. This has required a full redesign of the suspension system, completely starting from scratch. To design this new system an outside-in method was adopted, choosing tyres and wheels then working inwards through the hub and upright, then wishbones and tie-rods.

The tyre data was analysed to find the optimum working area of our chosen tyre. The suspension geometry was designed through a software called Lotus Shark, allowing for optimisation of the kinematics to maximise the tyres performance. 

The design of the parts was completed through Solidworks CAD package, allowing a full assembly of the system on the car. This has allowed for full integration with the rest of the car, as well as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of all components to minimise weight and maximise strength.

All suspension members have been constructed using T800H multi directional weave carbon fibre tubing. This gives a total suspension member weight saving of 5.5kg compared to steel equivalents. 7075-T6 aluminium inserts, utilising PTFE lined spherical bearings, have been bonded to the tubes using 3M 9323 epoxy structural adhesive.”

About the team.

metals4U sponsor of Team Hare

Daniel Mall. Suspension Design Manager

 

Daniel is from Somerset and currently studying towards his MEng in Mechanical Engineering. Daniel has overall responsibility for the design and optimisation of the suspension system. When not busy with Team HARE projects he enjoys wakeboarding, surfing and skateboarding- funnily enough, not sports that include wheels!

 

 

metals4U sponsor team Hare

Jack Lynas. Suspension Model Manager.

 

Originally from Essex, Jack’s role within the suspension team is to design the suspension system for the new 10″ wheels. When he is not working hard towards his Automotive and Motorsport Engineering MEng, he likes cycling on both one or two wheeled models, carting, surfing, and like many students- sleeping!

 

 

 

We have loved following their journey this year and our excitement for the Formula Student 2019 competition is intensifying. 
To find out more about the IMechE Formula Student’s stringent rules, click here
 

Team Hare Sponsorship- Electrical and Control Systems

(Last modified: May 14th, 2019)

As part of our ongoing sponsorship of Team Hare throughout their Formula Student 2019 season, we caught up with the Electrical and Control Systems Integration department to see how their elements of the team build are going.

The electrical and controls systems integrations are a physical interconnection of devices that impact the performance and operation of other systems and devices within the car build.The Formula Student rules for the 2019 season are devised and implemented by IMechE- the rules run to very tight specifications so the role of the Electrical Systems Designer is to ensure that all the restrictions and specs are strictly adhered to ensure safety, while also endeavouring to optimise performance.

It has been very busy for Team Hare this year and the design and build of the electrical system has been compromised due to changes in the powertrain and body system. The main priority of the electrical department is to offer reliability and durability while the car competes in several dynamic events in the United Kingdom and across Europe. Dedication and commitment are required during the project to meet the planned dates for engine testing and control systems functionality, whilst working concurrently with the other departments.

Here is a quick insight into the responsibilities of the electrical and control systems team.

electrical integration metals4U Team Hare 2019

 

The electrical and control systems integration department consists of one BEng Student, Panagiotis Kyriakou.

 

metals4U team hare sponsorship panagiotis Kyriakou

Panagiotis Kyriakou. Electrical Systems Designer

 

 

Panagiotis Kyriakou is originally from Deryneia, Cyprus; he is solely responsible for the integration of electrical and control systems, including the dyno and chassis loom design. Currently studying for his BEng Automotive and Motorsport Engineering, he also likes to learn about cutting edge technologies in his free time.