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Tube Fabrication Process
How is the Hydro-form tube made?


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REYNOLDS 953 MAR-AGING STAINLESS STEEL

Reynolds latest innovation takes steel alloys into a new league. By utilizing a specially developed "martensitic-aging" stainless steel alloy that can achieve tensile strength in excess of 2000 MPa, this has a strength-to-weight ratio that can take on the best in the world. The resilient ride of steel, very high impact strength (similar to armor plating) and fatigue resistance combine to provide an extraordinary material that can now be used for tubing.

We developed this alloy in conjunction with Carpenter Specialty Alloys, USA to get an optimum combination of strength and fatigue life by optimizing the cold-working sequence and heat-treatment parameters.

Reynolds will work with frame builders to provide recommended production techniques, so that the challenges inherent in using an extremely hard metal can be overcome.

Benefits: Ultra strong steel, with the advantage of a strainless finish for maximum weight reduction from very thin walls. And the legendary ride of steel.

As frame properties will depend on the production facilities available to each builder, we summarize the two main alternatives proposed:

1- Optimum Strength Process (Cold Worked, Butted tubing as sent by Reynolds, Welded and Aged by the frame manufacturer)

Process:
  • Carpenter producers raw material to the required specification
  • Reynolds cold-works, butts tubes and produces tube sets
  • Frame Manufacturer welds tube sets including fittings in 953
  • Uses 17-4PH (A WS ER 630) weld rod
  • No preheat necessary, but aligning recommended prior to Age
  • Frame Aged at 950 F (510 C) for 4 hours at temperature, air cooled.

  • Final Properties of Frame:
  • Welds will have aged properties (over 1350 MPA Tensile Strength with 17-4 wire)
  • Cold worked tubes areas will have cold worked plus age properties - 1750-2050 MPA Tensile Strength depending on cold-work/age/thickness.

  • 2 - Aged Tubing Process (Cold Worked, Butted and Aged Tubing by Reynolds, then Welded by frame manufacturer) Process:
  • Carpenter produces raw material to required starting specification
  • Reynolds cold-works, butts tubes and shapes tube sets, then ages tubing to delivered specification
  • Reynolds cold-works, butts tubes and shapes tube sets, then ages tubing to delivered specification
  • Frame manufacturer welds tube sets
  • Uses 17-4P11 (A WS ER 630) weld rod
  • No preheat necessary, and no aging process is carried out on the finished frame
  • Process should allow for cutting/mitering of high-strength steel
  • Final Properties of Frame:
  • Welds and Heat Affected Zones will have as-welded properties (over 1100 MPA Tensile Strength with 17-4 wire)
  • Cold worked tubes will have cold worked plus age properties (around 1850-1950 MPA Tensile)

  • Final properties of each frame will depend on the tubes used, the wall thicknesses chosed and the welding method employed. Where lower strength/fatigue is acceptable for the frame design/fittings, 953 can be welded to lower strength 304 or 316L type stainless steel parts using suitable weld rods.

    Please contact Reynolds if you have any questions.
    KTN 8/24/05
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