Stainless steel products that require both cold heading and machining operations have been notoriously troublesome—because stainless alloys that machine easily don't lend themselves to cold forming and vice versa. Carpenter Technology Corp. (www.cartech.com) recently developed an alloy intended to support cold forming and various machining operations, including drilling, slotting, and broaching. Called 302HQ-FM® stainless (S30431), this stainless grade offers a low work hardening rate to foster cold forming operations. At the same time, it has a machinability rating approaching that of Type 303 stainless.
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