Spring/Summer 2005 Issue 4
In This Issue

Metals and Money

Investigation of White Layers Formed in Conventional and Cryogenic Hard Turning of Steels

Supply Systems That Reduce Costs

Win World-Class Best Practice Training

Find Answers, Help Others in Online Atmospheres Forum

Ask the Expert

Where to Find Us

Meet This Quarter's Metal Head: Zbigniew Zurecki

Useful Web Links

Contact Us


Quotes and Quips

Overcoming barriers to performance is how groups become teams.
—Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 297, or sending us an e-mail.


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Metals and Money

Accurate forecasting and planning stems from gauging the movement and trends of key industry indices. Air Products' economists have compiled these graphs to illustrate three-year trends for utility and metals pricing as well as industrial production. We'll continue to keep you updated once a quarter.

Industrial Production Indexes Industrial Production Indexes
Source: US Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors
Click here to view the graph.


Utility Pricing Metrics Utility Pricing Metrics
Source: Inside F.E.R.C., Bureau of Labor Statistics
Click here to view the graph.


Steel Prices Steel Prices
Source: Market Pricing
Click here to view the graph.


Key Metals Prices Key Metals Prices
Source: London Metals Exchange
Click here to view the graph.


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Investigation of White Layers Formed in Conventional and Cryogenic Hard Turning of Steels

Although hard turning of steels has become an accepted industrial practice, reducing the extent of grinding, many surface integrity aspects of hard turning require clarification. The striking result of hard turning is the tendency for forming white (non-etching) and dark (overtempered) layers at the machined surface. White layers are often associated with residual tensile stresses leading to reduced fatigue strength and poor wear resistance. It has been reported that certain steel compositions, machining conditions and tools enhance white layers, but no consensus was reached on the nature of white layer and the role of environmental factors. Air Products conducted a study to examine the impact of cryogenic liquid nitrogen spray cooling, tool and work materials, as well as machining speed on white layer formation. Results were evaluated using XRD, SEM, EDS, AES, residual stress measurement and microhardness profiling. We concluded that white layers are a purely thermomechanical phenomenon involving dissolution of low-alloy carbides into austenitic matrix, and catastrophic flow of that 1-phase material, resulting in its nano-scale refinement. The depth and extent of the refinement are controlled by cooling, with the cryogenic nitrogen reducing white layer thickness, loss of hardness, and improving residual stress distribution.

To learn more about this survey and its results, view the full article.

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Supply Systems that Reduce Costs

Competitive pressures have everyone looking for ways to advance. Air Products' PRISM® Nitrogen Generation System can potentially help you achieve 20%–40% cost savings as compared to truck-delivered nitrogen.

Our experts can perform a comprehensive analysis of your needs and operating process and customize a controlled atmosphere system for you that is highly reliable and hassle-free—and at a significant cost savings.

Is on-site nitrogen generation right for you? Our quick self-assessment will let you know. Find out more by reading the full article.

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Win World-Class Best Practice Training

To enter our Head of the Class contest for a chance to win four days of world-class training in metals processing best practices at the ASM campus in Ohio, go to www.metalsassessment.com. All you have to do is spend ten minutes answering questions about your metals processing operation.

Taking the assessment enters you into the contest, plus you'll instantly receive a personalized report full of practical, easy-to-implement improvement ideas. Ideas that can:

  • Reduce process variability and operating costs by thousands of dollars
  • Improve asset utilization, part quality, and monitoring and controls
  • Create a safer workplace
The contest and assessment are a collaboration between Air Products and ASM International-two leaders providing knowledge and innovative solutions to the metals processing industry.

Log on today—you have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

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Find Answers, Help Others in Online Atmospheres Forum

Check out the new Atmospheres Forum, accessed through ASM International's website. The forum's dedicated to answering your questions and creating virtual discussions around the use of gases in material processing including topics such as gas sensors, monitors and control, gas properties and handling issues, atmosphere selection, vacuum processing, diffusion treatments and gas/surface interactions.

John Frey, Ph.D., R&D Manager of Controlled Atmospheres, Air Products, monitors this forum to help answer questions in a timely fashion. If you have an expertise in a particular aspect of atmospheres for materials processing, please let us know through the forum. You may be able to help answer specific questions as they arise.

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Ask the Expert

Matt Thayer

Matt Thayer
Principal Industry Engineer

Q: Do you need to weld titanium in a glovebox? What are some of the gas considerations?

A: No, titanium does not have to be welded in a glovebox; it's been welded outside gloveboxes for over 30 years. To help promote quality welds and avoid contamination, use separate grinding and shielding tools.

Get Matt's full answer.

View the "Ask the Experts" archive.

Send us your question. Each quarter, we'll randomly select one submitter to win a $100 gift certificate. Congratulations to Jason Gabler, last quarter's winner.

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Where to Find Us

Our representatives will be at the following trade shows. We hope to see you there to discuss your metals processing needs.

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Meet This Quarter's Metal Head: Zbigniew Zurecki

Zbigniew Zurecki Zbig Zurecki could very well be the last listing in many phone books. But with some 70 international patent filings and 25 publications, he's probably the first person you'd look up for research about industrial gas applications.

Zbig applies his expertise at Air Products to conceptualize and develop new technology offerings for national and international metals markets. He also provides knowledge support as well as laboratory and technical analyses. Before joining the Air Products team over 20 years ago, Zbig was a research team leader and industrial projects coordinator at the Materials Engineering Institute in Warsaw, Poland, and a metallurgist at Special Alloy, Inc., Chicago, Illinois.

Clearly on the cutting edge, Zbig's projects cover a broad area of industrial gas technologies—including electronics packaging, plasma arcs, powder metallurgy, thermal spray coatings, advanced ceramics, inert and reactive protection of molten metal surfaces, combustion, cryomachining, mechanical testing, rolling and specialized cryogenic equipment.

He is a member of ASM and MRS, with a long history of involvement in TMS, AFS, ACS, and SME. Zbig holds a B.S. in mechanical technologies and an M.S. in physical metallurgy from Warsaw Institute of Technology, Poland. He also completed a post-graduate School of Economics at Warsaw University and a materials engineering internship at Drexel University, Philadelphia. However, he hasn't found time to finish his two doctorates.

When he's not working, Zbig enjoys reading history, astrophysics, traveling to interesting spots and biking with his family. He resides in Macungie, Pennsylvania, with his wife and daughter.

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Useful Web Links

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Contact Us

You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567, code 297, or by sending an email to gigmrktg@airproducts.com.

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© Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. 2005