Issue: Aug 2009


New process for reducing weight while increasing the strength of Martensitic stainless steels



New Stainless Steel Processing Technology can be used to Produce Lighter, Stronger Cars, which will increase Gas Mileage

by Steve Barclay

KVA Stainless has spent over 5 years and tens of thousands of hours developing and validating their proprietary and patented processes for reducing weight while increasing the strength of Martensitic stainless steels, which have the performance of Titanium at a fraction of the cost.

Samples of a Ford F150 tow hook were manufactured using KVA’s technology. The new tow hook weighed 50% less and was 17% stronger. Danny Codd, chief engineer at KVA Stainless, explained that high strength structural shapes can now be integrated into high performance structural assemblies to reduce weight, increase strength and stiffness. Codd outlined a number of components such as vehicle frames, support structures, chassis cross members, bumper beams, suspension control arms, sub-frames, side impact beams, roof rails, etc. could be manufactured using KVA’s technology. Codd stated, “The automotive industry is a perfect fit for our technology. We can increase the strength of the structure to protect the riders, while reducing the overall weight of the vehicle, which results in increased gas mileage.” "Electroplating can be eliminated from some of the exterior components such as bumpers to reduce the environmental impact."

The founder of KVA Stainless, Ed McCrink, along with the scientific team has over 60 years combined experience in thermal processing, metallurgy, automated welding, brazing and mechanical design. McCrink founded Hi-Temp, Inc. in 1953 and grew the company to become one of the largest thermal processors of stainless steels in North America. McCrink has continuously pursued his vision of utilizing commonly available, low cost martensitic stainless steels to reduce weight and increase strength in components and structures. KVA’s team have developed numerous proprietary and patented manufacturing processing methods to enable the use of lightweight, hardened Martensitic stainless steels to be used in automotive components & structures, gas & oil production/pipelines, aviation components & structures, medical devices, bike frames, golf shafts, lacrosse sticks, heat exchangers, bridge structures, dairy, petrochemical & processing equipment, solar water heaters, train/rail and cars

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