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Sustainable product development

18 January 2022 | 

Tailor-made solutions for demanding applications by voestalpine Wire Technology

We offer customized wire solutions (material and process development) to meet and exceed demanding requirements. Using digital product simulations and our unique R&D setup, we score points with virtual product development options and significantly reduced development times. Our competent team in the research and development department guarantees optimized product properties for targeted processing and application in your products.

New development of an alternative upset grade to the standard material 42CrMo4 – with additional advantages

new development voestalpine Wire Technology

Customized steel alloys for customer applications are created on the computer in our research service company. Defined by the two components of mechanical properties and direct formability, the newly developed alloy variant shows great potential compared to 42CrMo4.

With regard to the strength properties, the tests carried out so far have shown that the new alloy variant is comparable to the standard 42CrMo4 grade after quenching and tempering but with the potential advantage of direct formability without upstream soft annealing.

This advantage of direct workability is set via a micro-alloying element, which under certain conditions in hot forming defined by special rolling parameters forms the finest precipitates that promote the ferrite content in the alloy. This is considered advantageous in terms of formability.

Already, the first successful test rolls have been carried out and the target structure has been achieved. Further detailed tests to achieve the target values, in terms of quenching and tempering properties, are being implemented. Cold heading tests, relaxation tests and step-load tests for comparison with reference grades are also planned.

Downsizing as a benefit

The benefits of the newly developed alloy variant are promising in every respect: the reduced use of the alloying element chromium and an omission of the element molybdenum compared to the standard material 42CrMo4, as well as the elimination of soft annealing before further processing, promise cost savings and a positive effect on the operational CO2 balance.

Benefit from our comprehensive know-how and the integrated process chain

We think holistically and can draw on the entire process chain, from steel to wire. This setup also enables us via the voestalpine Forschungsservicegesellschaft to carry out comprehensive simulations and thus create a material virtually on the computer.

In this specific case, for example, over 11,000 alloy variants were digitally simulated and calculated. The cross-company R&D team of voestalpine Wire Technology, voestalpine Forschungsservicegesellschaft and voestalpine Stahl Donawitz was supported by the Department of Steel Design at the University of Leoben.

Potential field of application of the new alloy

The defined target application area is the use of the material for 14.9 screws (1,400 MPa tensile strength, 1,260 MPa 0.2% proof stress), which are used in the automotive industry, for example. Other possible future product applications can also be found in rivet production, e.g. for self-piercing rivets.