The Timken Company collaborated with one of its major automotive customers to produce a steel that is easier to machine.
Working with the Robert Bosch Corporation, Timken engineers developed a hot-rolled temper process to produce steel that Bosch could more readily machine for a diesel fuel injector on truck engines.
"This collaboration illustrates Timken's ability to custom-design materials and offer value-added solutions that optimize the performance of customers' applications," said Linn Osterman, vice president of sales and marketing in Timken's Steel Group. "Timken is committed to working closely with customers like Bosch to translate our know-how into better performance."
Bosch, a leading manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, previously used a low-alloy steel that was hot-rolled annealed at its plant in Charleston, S.C.
This process produced steel with a high surface-to-core hardness gradient that was difficult for Bosch to machine. Excessive metal buildup on the tool edges ultimately led to reduced drill and tool life.
In 2005, Timken suggested a hot-rolled temper process, which would produce steel that would machine more efficiently and respond more effectively during Bosch's heat-treatment process. This hot-rolled process would produce tempered steel with a higher hardness and significantly reduce the temperature required for heat treatment.
After conducting machining trials and component testing, Bosch confirmed the improved machinability of the steel utilizing the Timken process.
"The high pressure pulsation fatigue life of the hot-rolled tempered steel improved notably over that of the hot-rolled annealed steel," said Wilt Staples, senior purchasing engineer at the Bosch Charleston plant.