IT IS A HUGE BENEFIT TO THOSE CUSTOMERS WHO PURCHASE ASSOCIATED STEEL KROMITE CD60 FINISHED RAIL TO BE ABLE TO JUST BOLT IT IN PLACE AND GET ON WITH THEIR LIFE. The manufacturer assumes the risk and accepts the liabilities associated with the production of the product.
“If we supply it, we stand by it”. We cannot guarantee the workmanship of our customer or their agents. Making finished hardened and machined custom wear rail is not for the faint of heart. Anyone who has done so knows there is truth in that statement.
Associated Steel has a Special Services Department (SSD) dedicated to custom fabrication. They have developed a specific fabricated rail from Kromite Cold Drawn Stock. Because of unique properties and characteristics, that product has been trade named; “Redi-Rail / Kromite CD60”.
Kromite CD60 is a semi-finished or finished rail that has been fabricated, to the customer’s specifications. Much like the unique processing technique used in the production of I.D. hardened wear pipe, the processing sequence and technique for Kromite CD60 is an inseparable component of the finished product. It is only CD60 when Associated Steel supplies it complete. Associated Steel has dedicated inventory, and devoted countless hours of engineering and refinement, toward making the highest quality product. CD60 is the product of an esoteric process. It has been field tested and proven to work exceptionally well. We do not share, nor do we release esoteric production technique or production sequencing information.
There is an “art” to making exceptional surface hardened rails, and that is why we trade-name finished and semi-finished rails. The actual process is an open-air process that is accomplished as much by sense and feel as by instructions and manuals. We have been supplying custom automation rails for over 50 years.
Occasionally, we will get a call from a customer who has made their own rails, advising they are getting low hardness readings. There are times where the actual hardness testing is the culprit. However, the majority of the calls could be avoided with a little bit of education. During the flame hardening process, De-carb is created on the surface of the bar. De-carb is that grey powdery coating that is visible on the surface that has been heat treated.
During the hardening process, carbon in the steel, at the surface, is burned off and disburses into the atmosphere. (No carbon, no hardness). Carbon near the surface can also burn off, although not completely. Testing into the De-carb will result in hardness readings that are not accurate, therefore a grind spot is recommended. A refined grain structure ensures the higher hardness range that we achieve after processing.
Surface hardening, when done correctly, allows the core of the bar to remain somewhat softer in order to maintain limited ductility. That is necessary for subsequent straightening and various other installation operations.
Heavier cross sections of flat bar retain more ductility. They are easier to work with during production and installation. Thinner flat bar will be more brittle and subsequently more difficult to manufacture and install. So, a 1” x 4” bar will generally be less troublesome than a piece of ¼” x 4”. On thinner sections, “crowning” across the flat becomes an issue and brittleness can come into play. At some point, if the ratio of thickness to width to length becomes unreasonable, Associated Steel will decline to quote. There are no charts to determine the exact point of concern. Experience and familiarity is required to make those determinations.
To insure we provide the best possible hardened rails, we have developed unique jigs, fixtures, custom quenching mediums and procedures, at great expense to our company. There are times when we recognize that costlier additional processing procedures may be required. In rare instances, we may decline to quote certain configurations.
Associated Steel has the ability to provide custom surface hardened railroad type rails and custom hardened rail configurations specific to beef processing and other automation industries.
-Howard Thomas, August 6th, 2022