A material for demanding applications: K030

Kuhn Special Steel’s core business revolves around the production of complex components in a massive range of dimensions and materials. Our centrifugal casting process allows us to deliver technological performance and end-product levels of purity and consistency that are far … Continue reading

Kuhn Special Steel’s core business revolves around the production of complex components in a massive range of dimensions and materials. Our centrifugal casting process allows us to deliver technological performance and end-product levels of purity and consistency that are far beyond anything achievable with static castings, with a quality comparable to that of forgings. The key factors, when it comes to creating a top-quality final product, are – along with the chosen casting process and subsequent machining of the component – the selection of the material, which must be compatible with the item’s intended use. It is for this reason that Kuhn Special Steel pays so much attention to materials development, backed up with the several decades’ worth of accumulated expertise that constitutes one of its core competences. Our multi-talented R&D team, operating under the leadership of renowned metallurgists Dr.-Ing. Frank Wischnowski and Dr.-Ing. Tobias Simon, is constantly striving to develop new materials for Kuhn Special Steel, while improving existing ones. All this establishes the best-possible conditions for the creation of a top-quality final product. Working in close cooperation with the customer makes it possible to develop individually optimised solutions for each field of operation and specific application.

In 2005, our R&D department came up with a special high-performance material: K030, a corrosion-resistant cast martensitic alloy of extraordinary hardness (up to 60HRC), which offers extreme resistance to wear. This out-of-the-ordinary combination of resistance to both corrosion and wear makes this material highly interesting for many applications where the products concerned are likely to be exposed to heavy-duty use. The big advantage of an extraordinary degree of hardness also makes the final machining of the corresponding components a major challenge, but this is a task that Kuhn Special Steel is pleased to carry out on its customers’ behalf. The required components no longer have to be delivered in a pre-machined state, as used to be the case, but can instead normally be subjected to precise finish-machining by Kuhn Special Steel in accordance with customer drawings. Close cooperation between our materials development, foundry and machining departments has allowed us to optimise our manufacturing process. Kuhn Special Steel can now manufacture ready-finished components for an extremely wide range of applications, with dimensions to match. Our material K030, which is highly difficult to machine, is nevertheless available in diameters ranging from 16 mm to 865 mm; supplied ready for successful use in a wide range of applications. The above dimensions are accompanied by maximum wall thicknesses of up to 130 mm and lengths of up to 2,430 mm.

Another great leap forward in terms of development came with our alloy variant based on a combination of materials K030 and K027. This allowed Kuhn Special Steel to supply – in a high-quality, weld-compatible form ideal for additional applications – a material that had previously been classed as not suitable for welding.

Thanks to its outstanding characteristics and the wide range of components made possible by it, material K030 has already enjoyed more than ten years of marketable success, as it has become an established, tried-and-tested element of many parts of milling and mixing technology, the food processing industry and the pump construction sector. Since the initial prototypes were developed, Kuhn Special Steel has sold some 4,400 components made of this material.

And the development work goes on… Ever more demanding applications in the areas of application concerned mean that our materials require constant further development. Examples include our material K032, which was launched last year in order to meet a need for combined resistance to corrosion and heavy loads. This offers, along with our previously tried-and-tested material K030, even greater resistance to corrosion, thereby making it suitable for an increasingly wide range of applications. K032, which is currently undergoing field trials in two sectors of industry, has so far delivered good results in the applications where it has been employed.

Photo: © Kybele – stock.adobe.com

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