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New Project 7000 stainless steels can be run at machining speed increases

Carpenter Technology Corporation : 13 January, 2000  (New Product)
Carpenter's new series of Project 7000 stainless steels has created much excitement in the metalworking industry. It should, because these alloys provide the most significant improvement in the machinability of stainless steels in the last 30 years.
Carpenter's new series of Project 7000 stainless steels has created much excitement in the metalworking industry. It should, because these alloys provide the most significant improvement in the machinability of stainless steels in the last 30 years.

Users participating in carefully monitored field tests have been able to machine the Project 7000 stainless alloys at speeds up to 50% faster than possible with our own Project 70 stainless steels. That is a remarkable improvement since our Project 70 series, for many years, has set the standard by which machinability has been measured worldwide.

The new Project 7000 stainless grades, however, are not intended for everyone. They should be considered primarily for those shops that use large volumes of small diameter bar stock on long production runs, particularly high technology plants that routinely track costs and have machines not running at maximum speeds.

Project 7000 stainless steels offer machinists the opportunity to increase productivity dramatically, reduce labor and part costs, shrink cycle time, more easily machine difficult parts, and expand production capability with existing equipment, perhaps saving the expense of a plant addition.

Presently, three grades . . . Types 303, 304 and 316 . . . wear the mantle of Project 7000 stainless steels. They represent the highest achievement on the machinability scale. The Project 70 stainless steels remain appropriate choices for challenging machining operations. While not as machinable as the Project 7000 stainless alloys, they always have shown a superiority of 10 to 15% when compared with general stainless grades which are suitable for jobs requiring minimal machinability.

Carpenter's Project 70 stainless steels, priced lower than alloys in the Project 7000 series, will continue as a mainstay in our line of stainless steels. It will go on serving the greatest range of applications, providing the same benefits that users have come to expect over the years - assured productivity, lower tool wear, superior product finishes, uniformity and consistency from lot to lot, and more.

To help machine shops determine what machinability level might be best for its own particular operation, Carpenter has developed an interactive machining cost comparator computer program that is based on figures provided by the shop itself.

The evolution of free-machining stainless steels, leading to development of the Project 7000 series, is rooted in a Carpenter legacy that dates back to the 1930's. Carpenter invented the first free machining stainless steels (Type 303 and Type 416) at that time, then introduced the Project 70 family of stainless steels, a series with much improved machinability, beginning in the 1960's.

From those Great Depression years until now, the company has expanded its unique expertise in machinability testing, introducing methods that have been adopted by others in the industry. We installed in our R & D laboratory an automatic screw machine and a CNC lathe to evaluate machinability, and a cold heading machine to test fabricability, of existing and new alloys. In this way, Carpenter has become a leader in the development of new and improved alloys.

We've gained this position largely due to our strong investment in research and development, aided by the vast library of hard data that we have compiled to compare alloys in use with new ones. As a result, people tend to come to us for materials solutions (a tendency we encourage).

In developing the new Project 7000 series of stainless steels, we wanted to continue our focus on the customer and leave nothing to chance. Therefore, after we tested the improved alloys thoroughly in our own laboratory, we wanted to confirm our findings with machinability trials in the field. Our objective was to get real world results in metalworking establishments running their own machines with their own operators. While the results were most gratifying, space does not allow reporting them at this time. (They are available in a Project 7000 brochure.)

Our regional metallurgists, working with customers conducting the field trials, became more familiar with what is happening on the shop floor. We learned first hand about the phenomena associated with machining and ways to maximize the potential of machining alloys.
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