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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2018 / Vol 41 No4

10 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

10 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Guy Avellon Guy Avellon has been in MRO and Fastener Distribution for over 30 years, in such positions Sales Engineer, Chief Engineer, Manager of Product Marketing, Product Engineering & Quality and Director of Quality & Engineering. He founded GT Technical Consultants where he performs failure analysis, lectures on fastener safety, works for law firms and designs/audits Quality systems. He is a member of SAE, is Vice Chairman of the ASTM F16 Fastener Committee, Chairman of the F16.01 Test Methods Committee and received the ASTM Award of Merit in 2005. Guy can be contacted at 847- 477-5057, Email: ExpertBoltGuy@gmail.com or visit www.BoltFailure.com. WHAT FASTENER DISTRIBUTORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PROCESSING OF STEEL FASTENERS Many times, you can see trucks on the highways with large coils of steel wire of different diameters on them. They are going to a fastener or nut manufacturer. When the raw steel coils arrive at the manufacturers, they are generally stored outside and are exposed to the weather. However, their heat-treat scale prevents heavy rust from forming. When ready for use, the first step is a cleaning operation called “pickling”. The steel is cleaned in a solution of sulfuric acid, which removes superficial rust and other surface contaminants. Pickling is followed by cleaning, where the wire is rinsed to remove any remaining acid, and subsequently coated with a lubricant, such as a lime or phosphate solution. This coating acts to neutralize any residual acid. It also helps prevent corrosion if the steel is not used immediately, and increases the ability of the steel to pick up the lubricant used in the bolt-making machinery. Spherodizing Spheroidizing is a form of annealing and is the first heat treating process to which the cap screw material is subjected. This operation ‘globularizes’ the microstructure of the steel and is modified into an elongated pattern when the steel is upset during deformation of the bolt in the forming operation. Spheroidizing increases the pliability of the steel and makes it easier to be cold formed to produce a consistent CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE and reliable product. This annealing process is carried out in a hermetically sealed oven that is purged with nitrogen gas. This eliminates the possibility of carburization or decarburization during this annealing phase. However, the steel is very susceptible to decarburization during the final heat treatment. Carburization or decarburization is the gain or loss of surface carbon, which would adversely harden the threaded surface by increasing brittleness or soften the surface, respectively, thereby decreasing its ultimate load capability and functionability. In the sealed oven, the iron-based alloy is heated near the critical temperature to approximately 1600°F (870°C) for 24 to 48 hours, during which time it slowly cools so that the iron carbide forms a pearlitic structure of ferrite and carbide, Fe 3 C, and assumes a microscopic spheroid form. Some grades of fasteners may use a process anneal. After annealing, the wire is tested for proper microstructure, re-cleaned, and re-limed. It is now ready for the bolt-maker. Normalizing is different than stress relief annealing, though sometimes the two terms become confused. Stress relief annealing, or subcritical annealing, is changing the distorted cold-worked crystal lattice structure back to one which is strain free by heating the material to below the lower critical line; 1,000 to 1,200°F (538 to 650°C). Normalizing, when used, is performed at 100°F (38°C) above the upper critical temperature of the steel. CONTINUED ON PAGE 126

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    advertisers index # 3Q, INC. 64 Spl

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