Akron Steel Treating Company (AST) first opened its doors way back in 1943. Since that time, the family-owned company has proudly provided heat-treating services and related metallurgical consulting to a wide array of customers in a variety of industries.
AST’s quality standards and Nadcap certifications allow it to process commercial products, tools and dies, automotive parts, machinery components, firearms and aerospace parts. Now 72 years old, the company’s equipment includes vacuum, integral-quench, controlled-gas atmosphere, temper and neutral salt-bath furnaces. AST also has deep freezing and blasting equipment.
This longtime MTI member, which has 40 employees, does more than heat treat. AST has a full-service laboratory that includes Rockwell, Brinell and computerized Tukon microhardness testing equipment, allowing the company to offer inspection services. AST also provides consultative work. Customer parts are accompanied by a digital photo or part print. Trained personnel document the results of each process on the JopShoppe computer system, logging furnace time and temperature data in the SpecView system. This monitoring ensures high-quality, repeatable heat treatment.
Since 1997, AST has partnered with IQ Technologies to develop IntensiQuench® processes and equipment. IntensiQuench is an environmentally friendly, multi-step water-then-air quenching technique for the uniform heat treatment of metal parts. It is used for through-hardening of martensitic steels and carburized steels, as well as solution treatments for precipitation hardening stainless steels, titanium and aluminum alloys.
In contrast to conventional oil, polymer/water or gas quenching, IntensiQuench methods provide higher as-quenched hardness, to a deeper level in the part, for any given alloy. Compared to traditional quenching, IntensiQuench processes can achieve improved mechanical properties for a given alloy steel. Since the high hardenability of the IntensiQuench process needs only 0.2% carbon for 50 HRC in the carburized case, it can reduce carburizing cycle times by about 30-40% compared to oil-quench processes. IntensiQuench processes use 93% water for cleaner parts that are ready for subsequent plating or painting after heat treatment.
In 2014, AST partnered with Dura-Bar® distributor Industrial Tube & Steel to make “Intensively Quenched Ductile Iron” products. IQDI® offers ductile iron with a deeper hardened layer, at a higher hardness, under beneficial compressive residual stresses instead of the tensile stresses from traditional oil quenching.
Big things are in store for AST. This year the company is participating in the SCRA/FIA Pro-Fast project, “Direct from the FORGE IntensiQuench Process (DFIQ).” This will provide hardened forgings with better mechanical properties at a lower cost when compared to traditional forgings. AST is also working with MTI’s Apprenticeship Training Program to develop updated online training courses to help teach the next generation of heat treaters.
Visit www.akronsteeltreating.com for more information on Akron Steel Treating.