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So far Kelly Smith has created 8 blog entries.
17 10, 2018

Steel Service Center Spotlight: National Blanking

2020-04-01T21:13:37+00:00 October 17th, 2018|News Blog, NMC Media|

National Blanking steel service center is a joint venture between National Material Company and Heidtman Steel Products which have enjoyed the synergy of working together for decades to provide quality products to their customers. Partnering to offer customers first operational blanks, including a strong expertise in high-strength low alloy steels, and Advanced High-Strength Steel.

Originally built in 1959 as Toledo Pickling and Steel Service, the facility operated a batch pickler, numerous slitters, and level lines. Toledo Pickling grew rapidly and outpaced the building, resulting in the purchase of another facility down the road where the first blanking press was installed. Incorporated as Toledo Blank Inc. (TBI) in 1974,  the company cultivated a reputation as one of the foremost blankers in the country. TBI’s excellence in blanking continued with its new ownership when New Technology Steel acquired the business in 2003.

That tradition followed and prospered under Heidtman Steel with their acquisition of the facility in 2009. In December 2016, Heidtman and National Material Company grew its partnership with the genesis of the joint venture National Blanking LLC. The newly-structured JV allows National Blanking the opportunity to leverage new resources, to tap a larger, more diversified sales force, and to chart a new course for profitable growth.

“What sets National Blanking apart from our competition is our customer-centric commitment to excellence.  We understand our customers’ gold standards in regards to quality, service, and on-time delivery. Every employee strives to exceed those expectations every single day,” says Matt McCaffrey, General Manager of National Blanking and 15-year employee. “My favorite part of working at National Blanking is our people. Most of our staff have been with us for more than a decade which has helped cultivate a true sense of family in our work environment.  I couldn’t ask for a better team to work with.”

National Blanking offers a broad range of blanking and steel services covering a wide scope of industries. The facility supports press sizes up to 1200 tons with bed sizes up to 84” x 120”, coils up to 55,500 lbs. and 72” wide, with a gauge range of .020 – .500. Other capabilities include circle blanking utilizing multi-cavity tooling with an expansive selection of diameter components that allow the retrofitting of existing tooling to provide low cost solutions for our customers. Our on-site die shop supports flexible value-added services including blank-through, compound, and progressive blanking.

National Blanking serves the following industries: Tanks & Pressure vessels, Agriculture, Appliance, Automotive, Construction, Drums/Containers, Energy, Filters, Furniture, Heavy Equipment, Heavy Truck, HVAC, Lighting, and more. Steel products made at National Blanking are used in wheels, hot water heaters, compressors, trucks and trailers, and medical equipment.

“We strive to build a culture of employee empowerment. We focus on giving our employees not only the training and skills to perform their jobs, but the opportunity and encouragement to engage in all processes and future opportunities for our company,” McCaffrey continues, “the sky is the limit for us. With our knowledge and experience in the industry, we strive to continue our commitment […]

3 10, 2018

Industries Utilizing Galvanized Steel

2019-10-16T16:17:24+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|News Blog, NMC Media|

Galvanized steel is one of the most popular and useful steels because of its , durability and ability to be applicable to a variety of projects. It can be a good match for many industries including agriculture, solar, automotive, construction, and many more. We will provide a detailed description of how galvanized steel is processed, its benefits, and how it is used in these various industries.

What is galvanized steel? What is the process?

Galvanized steel is a type of steel in which an application of protective zinc coating is applied to prevent rusting. Galvanization, the process used to apply the zinc, is done through hot-dipped galvanizing.

The steps in the galvanizing process are as follows:

  1. Clean the steel in a degreasing solution
  2. Pickle the steel in diluted hot sulfuric acid
  3. Flux the steel in an aqueous solution (typically zinc-ammonium chloride)
  4. Immerse the steel in a vat of molten zinc
  5. Inspect the steel for consistency and a complete coating

What industries utilize galvanized steel?

  • Wind & solar industries – Solar projects must have a continuous workflow once installed and any repairs/maintenance results in disruption to service (a.k.a. revenue loss). This means that hot dipped galvanized steels are popular in solar projects for their corrosion protection. It is also popular for its ‘environmental’ friendliness because it does not produce emissions and ensures decades without maintenance.
  • Agriculture- Galvanized steel is often utilized in the agriculture industry because of equipment is susceptible to being easily corroded, creating a demand for tougher, resilient equipment. Hot-dip galvanized steel provides corrosion protection that can often last for decades, even when exposed to the harsh environment of farming
  • Automotive industry – Though only used on luxury models up until the 1980s, the use of zinc-coated bodies for automobiles is now the norm in auto manufacturing. The ‘body-in-white’ of a car makes up about 80% of the body, all using galvanized steel. The rust resistance of galvanized steel is also a good marketing tool for the automotive industry because they can provide ‘anti-rust warranties’ to customers.
  • Construction industry – Whether for residential or commercial, the durability of galvanized steel has made it popular for over a century in the construction industry. It is also selected for construction because of its aesthetics; the ‘shine’ that galvanized steel provides gives it a contemporary feel and is popular in modern architecture designs. Also, it isn’t just used for large structural pieces but things like fencing, gutters, rails, tubing, poles, and much more.
  • Telecommunication industry – Phone lines are not an easy maintenance job, they are tall and often difficult to reach. Hot-galvanized steel can be used on phone wiring and equipment boxes which decreases the risk of damage and need for maintenance at all.

Benefits of galvanized steel

There is a reason so many different industries utilize galvanized steel. It has a plethora of benefits, all of which these industries take advantage. The benefits include:

  • Low initial cost as compared to most other treated steels.
  • Lower maintenance costs than most other coated steels (saves […]
12 09, 2018

The Benefits of Our On-Site Metallurgical Lab

2018-09-12T20:46:48+00:00 September 12th, 2018|News Blog|

The manufacturing of metal parts is a complex, highly-scientific process that must often be approached on a molecular level. By understanding how a metal molecularly transforms from mineral to a manufactured part allows for more consistent products. Having an on-site metallurgy lab, like National Material Company does, optimizes metal’s capabilities and increases product reliability. 

What is metallurgical analysis?

Metallurgical analysis is the study of a metal alloy’s chemical, mechanical, and physical properties.  Steel metallurgical analysis has been prominent since the industrial revolution where it became important to gain a deeper understanding of a metal’s ability to be altered with cold and hot workings. Deeper understanding of a metal’s properties meant manufacturers could make a wider variety of goods and make these goods more consistent and reliable. This is still true today.

Benefits of having a metallurgical lab on-site?

A metal’s microstructure can change over time and through its processing Having an on-site metallurgical lab helps ensure that the metal products meet the customer’s specifications.

When providing metals for industries such as automotive, agriculture, etc. it is critical that the metals used in their manufacturing meet the designated specifications given their designated end use.

What metallurgical testing does NMC offer? 

As a supplier of galvanized steel, hot rolled steel,  and cold rolled steel, National Material Company knows how many processes metals must go through before they are ready to be shipped to our variety of clients. We have an on-site metallurgical lab that puts our metals through a variety of tests including physical properties, hardness, coating weight and bake hard.  NMC has a variety of additional testing capabilities using their qualified network of testing labs.

We strive to exceed our customer expectations in all phases of the manufacturing process including metallurgical analysis and testing.

If you believe your company can benefit from our services, please visit us at http://www.nationalmaterial.com/or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200 to discuss how we can be of service.

About National Material L.P. – Since its founding in 1964, National Material Limited Partnership has grown to over 30 business units and is now one of the largest suppliers of steel in America. The National Material group of industrial businesses consists of the Steel Group, Stainless and Alloys Group, Raw Material Trading Group, Aluminum Group, and Related Operations.

8 08, 2018

How Metal Manufacturing Supports the Agricultural Industry

2018-08-08T19:12:21+00:00 August 8th, 2018|News Blog, NMC Media|

 When you think of farming what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Rows of crops? Animals in a barn? Bails of hay perhaps? All these things are likely be found on farms but what is often forgotten about is the equipment that makes all these elements possible. From feeding pails to tractors to silos, the metal manufacturing industry is intrinsically linked to the agricultural industry. Modern farming is extremely efficient, mostly thanks to the industrialized nature of the facilities filled with factory-like machines. We will explore how the steel industry supports the agriculture and farming industry, the advantages it provides, and how National Material Company is prepared to supply the necessary materials to agricultural OEMS. 

How is steel used in the agriculture and farming industry? 

The agriculture industry is becoming increasingly competitive because of the efficiency of the operations. With higher quality metals, agricultural machine manufacturers create more reliable, efficient machines that translate into better farming. Steel is found in a variety of farming equipment including:

  • Storage facilities like barns and silos
  • Harvesting equipment like tractors, cotton pickers, hay balers, etc.
  • Greenhouses
  • Livestock management equipment like fencing, feeding pails, milk machines, etc.
  • General operation equipment like forklifts, watering systems, drains, etc.

What’s the advantage of using steel in agriculture and farming?

Agriculture and farming is dirty business; filled with heat, dirt, chemicals, and various harsh elements from the great outdoors. This means that farming equipment is susceptible to being easily corroded, creating a demand for tougher, resilient equipment. This is where steel comes in. Hot-dip galvanized steel provides corrosion protection that can often last for decades, even when exposed to the harsh environment of farming.

Stainless steel is also utilized for its surface properties. With a standard, shiny finish, it makes it particularly easy to clean. Also, in applications like dairy farming, the smooth finish is important because of the need to maintain microbiological quality in the raw milk.

What can NMC provide for agricultural and farming equipment companies?

As an increasingly competitive industry, having the best source for metal fabrication is critical for any agricultural OEM. National Material Company is capable of providing a wide variety of metals including galvanized steel and advanced high-strength steel, as well as steel processing like blanking and pickling, to these manufacturers.

Our experienced team can provide an array of materials with good design, maximum corrosion resistance, and do so with accelerated customer service. Whether you’re looking to build small parts for a milking machine, or large sheets of metal for a grain silo, NMC can serve you. With our ISO- 9002 certification, you have reassurance that your farming equipment is produced with the highest quality standards.

About National Material L.P. – Since its founding in 1964, National Material Limited Partnership has grown to over 30 business units and is now one of the largest suppliers of steel in America. The National Material group of industrial businesses consists of the Steel Group, Stainless and Alloys Group, Raw Material Trading Group, Aluminum Group, and Related Operations.

If you believe your company can benefit […]

11 07, 2018

Introduction to Press-Hardened Steels

2018-07-11T17:06:31+00:00 July 11th, 2018|News Blog, NMC Media|

What are Press-Hardened Steels (PHS)?

Press-Hardened Steels are Boron added (.001%-.005%) Carbon /Manganese steels that have been in use since the mid 1980’s for automotive body in white construction.

These steels are also known as HF or Hot Formed Steel.

Press Hardened Steel or Hot Formed Steels undergo a unique manufacturing process where the steel is heated to a minimum temperature of 850*C then formed to a final shape in water cooled dies that control the rates of cooling / quench to insure desired properties are met. The high temperature combined with rapid cooling transforms the microstructure to nearly 100% Martensite and very high finished tensile strengths up to 2000 Mpa.  This process is commonly referred to as “Hot Stamping”. The finished product qualifies as advanced high-strength steel, and is three times as stable as the material was prior to undergoing the process. It’s strength-to-weight ratio is also vastly increased.

The implementation of press hardening applications and the utilization of hardened steels are promising alternatives for optimizing part geometries with complex shapes with no spring back issues. The Hot Forming process allows for the formation of shapes that cannot be cold stamped with Ultra High Strength steels.

The unique properties of this material combine both complexity and strength – and components made with press-hardened steel can accomplish in one piece what would usually require heavier, thicker parts that are welded together.

The Press-Hardening / Hot Forming process was first put in to practice in the mid 1980’s and is primarily used in the creation of crash-sensitive safety components in automobiles. The parts created with this process meet several of the evolving requirements of the automobile industry, such as weight and cost reduction, as well as reduced environmental impact in its creation.

Since being introduced, Hot Forming has steadily increased in popularity.  Recent model year vehicles have seen the percentage of these steels rise to 25% of body in white weight.

PHS / HF Steels can be supplied with coatings that prevent the formation of oxide during the process. The most common of these coatings is Aluminum Silicon (AS) coating, other coatings may include Hot Dipped (GI), Galvannealed (GA) or Zinc Nickle (GP).

These parts are typically used where part stiffness and low deformation are important, typical parts may include.

  • A-Pillar
  • B-Pillar
  • Front / Rear Side Member
  • Crossmembers
  • Door Ring

Properties of Press-Hardened Steels

The strength of press-hardened steels can reach as high as 2000 MPa (215ksi), with a 1000MPa (145 ksi) yield stress total.

The Press Hardening Process

The two different processes for press-hardening are as follows.

Direct, in which the steel is first superheated in a furnace, formed while it is still hot, and then quenched while within the die. The process goes like this:

  • The steel with a ferritic-pearlitic matrix is austenized in a furnace. The blanks are heated up to a high temperature, nearly reaching 1000*C.
  • The material is then removed from the furnace and immediately transported to the stamping machinery within 10 seconds of removal
  • The die is closed, and the part is formed
  • The die is then rapidly quenched. […]