For high-tech weaving mills to also leverage all the benefits of steel in the reed, the strip steel thickness may only be a fraction of that of a human hair. Plus neat rounding at the edges. Is that possible at all? We made sure it is.
Reeds for high-tech fabrics with 70,000 threads over one metre, ultra-fine filters for dialysis machines and screen printing applications - thread thicknesses and mesh sizes in high-end textile technology have been developed in the nanotechnological field. And with it the requirements of the fineness of the reed steel separating thread from thread.
voestalpine Precision Strip saw itself confronted with a new dimension.
Whilst 40 to 50 µm are regarded as state of the art in many fields of steel processing, exclusive reed steel was to be cold-rolled down to a thickness of 17 μm. This is the third of the thickness of a human hair. Tempered with tolerances of half a μm (0.0005 mm).
Was this possible? It was made possible.
With ultra-pure precision steel strip forming the "creme de la creme" from the best parts of every steel coil. And using special milling systems in Munkfors, Sweden, deploying the very latest in elaborate, calibrated measurement technology.
But please with round edges!
The customer was not yet fully satisfied. There was a risk of the ultra-fine strip steel damaging threads. voestalpine Precision Strip went one step ahead - since then, the edges of the steel strip, with a thickness down to 17 thousands of a millimetre, have been rounded at the Böhlerwerk site – keeping to exact dimensions over a strip length of 2,000 to 3,000 metres.
The strongest properties of steel become apparent in the smallest of scales.
Reed-steel 17µm strong- unique worldwide
Cold-rolled strip steel with profile
Why do we at voestalpine Precision Strip also roll our strip steel into shaped profiles? Because our customers save time and money without comprising one little bit on quality.
Manufacturers of cutting dies or structural assemblies are of course able to grind or mill strip steel into any final shape themselves. But that takes time. And costs money. And not least of all compromises quality. This is because the metallurgical structure of steel generally reacts sensitively to the methods of machining.
voestalpine Precision Strip has developed a solution for all of these challenges with profiled strip steel. The strip steel is turned into the required profile in the cold-rolling process - "close to the final shape" such as with a triangular cross section for the production of knife blades. And by keeping to tight tolerances. With profiling that does not negatively influence the metallurgical quality of the final product.
The deeper level of production at voestalpine Precision Strip is therefore contrasted with "flatter" overhead at customers for final production - the grinding and milling processes beocme obsolete. So profiled knife blades only require sharpening and surface finishing. The highly homogeneous strip steel proves to have excellent machining properties.
Form follows function. This applies more than ever to steel products.