The company, which established its own facility in 1950, provides ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC), gas nitriding, atmosphere carburizing, carbonitriding, press quenching, neutral hardening, induction processing (spin and tooth-to-tooth), flame hardening, solution and age hardening of aluminum and most stainless steels, annealing, normalizing, stress relieving, mechanical and thermal straightening, and subzero and cryogenic treatment. CST provides these services to the automotive, mining, military, aerospace, tool and die, powder-metal and energy industries. The privately owned MTI member also processes parts for foundries, forges and general-purpose machine shops.
FNC and gas nitriding have become particularly important to CST. The ability to machine parts complete prior to heat treatment – eliminating final machining processes – has made both processes very attractive to manufacturers. CST’s Ni-Surf process for gas nitriding is a contemporary multi-stage procedure for case hardening alloy steels such as 4140 and 4340; special nitriding grades such as Nitralloy 135M; and tool steels such as D-2, H-13, and S-7. It produces a high surface hardness for excellent wear resistance, improved fatigue strength, increased corrosion resistance and a surface resistant to softening from elevated temperatures up to 1000°F. CST has found that carburizing (followed by hardening) is also well accepted by clients because the process provides excellent wear characteristics and ductility. Brittleness is eliminated, and functionality of the parts is increased many times over.
CST is unique in that it can vertically process long parts (such as shear blades and shafts) and press quench parts up to 24 inches in diameter. Two furnaces are available for vertical, long-part processing – one with an 18-inch-diameter x 122-inch capacity and one with a 24-inch-diameter x 50-inch capacity. The maximum operating temperature for these furnaces is 1950°F, and precision straightening is available to complement these capabilities. The company has three Gleason presses that are fed by either a continuous belt furnace for production-type jobs or a rotary-hearth furnace for larger, batch-type jobs.
Continued growth has allowed for two major expansions over the past several decades. CST, which is ISO/TS 16949:2009 and ISO 14001:2004 registered and CQI-9 compliant, currently occupies 45,000 square feet of space and employs 47. Its management staff, led by General Manager Mike Reichling, offers more than 200 years of combined experience in the heat-treating industry. CST houses a metallurgical lab equipped with testing, measurement and metallographic analysis tools, including an abrasive cut-off unit, macro and micro hardness-testing units, microscopes for analysis and a carbon determinator. The in-house facility augments production by checking case depths, microhardness, microstructures and carbon levels.
CST strives for continuous improvement. For example, the company recently completed the upgrade of an atmosphere control system on two of its five carburizing batch furnaces. CST is also close to completing the installation of an additional deep-pit gas nitriding/FNC furnace and installed a new press-quench system in support of automotive requirements. As for the future, the company is committed to continual upgrades of equipment to ensure consistency and quality of heat-treated parts. CST is always on the lookout for areas to extend its growth, including additional processes, new technologies and expanded customer base.