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sbozy25 (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Mar 08 15:41
I need help finding suppliers..

I'm looking for suppliers for high quality SAE 9254 material.  Currently we use Okia out of Japan, Charter out of Ohio, and are looking into Republic.  But, we can't get Charter any more, the Republic material is flaky in quality, and Okia is getting more and more expensive.

We currently get 14, 15 and 17mm annealed rod in coil form that is phos coated.  We then draw it down to the size we need.  This is where the Republic material has issues, they can't phos coat in house, and have to send it out.  As a result we tend to get handeling marks.

Our purchasing department is throwing their hand up, so I thought I would throw up a hail marry on here and see if anyone can catch it...
markarnoldTN (Mechanical)
18 Mar 08 16:04
Try to see if these guys can make it for you. http://www.stelco.com/
 Saw a patent online for processing 9254.
Helpful Member!  sbozy25 (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Mar 08 16:28
They are the company that supply the material billets to Charter.  Unfortunately their new owners aren't allowing them to process that material at the moment.  Which is why in turn Charter is not able to supply us.
TVP (Materials)
18 Mar 08 17:00
Scott,

Can you elaborate on the Charter issue?  Last time I talked to them they were looking to expand production of 9254 out of the Cleveland mill.

US Steel Canada (formerly Stelco) is certainly one option.  They should still have in-house phosphating, but I haven't really kept up with them due to the sale, etc.  Mittal Steel (formerly Ispat Inland, Inland Steel Bar Products, etc.) in East Chicago, IN is another option.  They have a patented grade 92V45 called Duraspring that they produce, but I'm sure they also produce some 9254.  As much as I am loathe to even mention them, Ivaco may be an option too.  They really jerked around a lot of people, both internally and at their customers, but they do have a unique setup where they take QIT billets (http://www.qit.com/eng/profil/acier.html) and hot-roll them down to wire rod.  Don't even think about using Ivaco's steelmaking facility for a spring grade-- only talk about QIT billets if you decide to pursue this.

Other than this, there isn't much NAFTA production of this grade. I don't think Nucor, Evraz-Oregon (Rocky Mountain Steel), or Gerdau Ameristeel produce this grade.  Worldwide producers include Corus in the UK, Posco in ROK, and the Japanese spring steel producers (Nippon Steel, Kobe Steel, Sumitomo, Daido, Aichi).  Ovako in Sweden and voestalpine in Austria are other candidates.
sbozy25 (Mechanical) (OP)
19 Mar 08 7:25
Sure, I can elaborate.... by the way... it's shawn :)


For the past 2 years we have been buying the steel from Nippon (Okaia) and Charter.  Nippon uses a continuous cast billet and we can get about double the amount of steel in a bundle of wire than we can from Charter's cast billets.  Charter comes in cheaper than Nippon, but is of a lower quality.  However, for some of our parts we have found this sufficient.  Well then they waved QIT material infront of our face and it was cheaper than the Nippon, so naturally we were excited... Especially with the consistantly rising material costs...  The QIT material is of a considerable lower grade than the other 2 options, but still works for quite a few after market customers who are just looking for a cheap part to Rival China that can pass minimum cycle life.

Then about 6 months ago our Charter rep was in house and told us about the Stelco situation.  The head man in charge that was brought in to run things is pulling most business and giving it to one customer, whom they won't identify.  As a result, they will no longer be making QIT available to the general public.  Also, they are focusing production away from the size rods we need, and focusing in other areas.


As you can figure we are up the preverbial crekk.
TVP (Materials)
19 Mar 08 9:37
Shawn,

Ouch, that Charter situation sounds bad.  And sorry about the name screwup-- I could have sworn that I saw Scott on a previous post. blush

Anyway, it's interesting to hear some of the background.  I would definitely talk to US Steel (Stelco), Mittal or Ivaco regarding NAFTA sourcing.  None is going to offer the same quality as Nippon Steel, mainly because they don't shave the wire rods to remove surface defects.  QIT makes really clean steel, so I'm a little surprised to hear that it is a "considerable lower grade".  Either way I think they would be similar to what Charter was providing.  I'm not sure about phosphating from Mittal's East Chicago facility, but their wire production facility (Walker Wire) in suburban Detroit definitely phosphates.  Same with Ivaco-- the steel mill does not phosphate, but their Sivaco wire facility does.
sbozy25 (Mechanical) (OP)
19 Mar 08 10:29
Well, thank you for your ideas... I passed them on to our purchasing department....

here is what he said...

Ivaco has to use Stelco billets and has had decarb problems when they did trial they never shipped to us

Mittal - tried trial from europe with them -- did not do good on testing plus euro is now so much higher than dollar cost would be considerably higher

I really think we are backed into a corner and have to just bite the bullet with Nippon's price increases.... pain in the rear!

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