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2. June 2015

Efficient manufacturing of plastic moulds

New pre-hardened special steel from Finkl Steel to produce flawless surfaces

Plastic products for the automotive industry, such as head lamps and windshields, must be as clear as glass and true to form to fulfill their function reliably. A permanently flawless mould frame made of steel is required to produce these products. The optimal solutions are the new tool steel products SF-2000® LQ40 and SF-2050® of North American special steel producer Finkl Steel, a subsidiary of the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group. These steels are characterised by excellent polishability and as-cast uniform hardness. At the same time, these steels are also efficient to machine and permanently dimensionally accurate. Customers profit from economic production and high-quality plastic products.

Decades of experience in the development and production of forged products to customer specification for the tool and die industry as well as state-of-the-art technologies distinguish Finkl Steel, the North American subsidiary of SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH. With their newest product developments SF-2000® LQ40 and SF-2050® the company has developed grades of tool steel characterised by an excellent microstructure and homogeneity in their mechanical properties. The extremely low sulphur content and selected micro-alloys provide excellent machinability and polishability. The hardness as-cast is already 40 HRC. Additional heat treatment is unnecessary, which contributes to the material's processability and form stability – important requirements for economic production. SF-2000® LQ40 is produced using an electro-slag remelting process (E.S.R.) that improves the grade. This makes it suitable for large-size applications requiring a flawless surface quality, including moulds for lenses as well as other applications requiring highly polished surfaces. Both materials can also be used for long-run moulds as well as injection moulds for abrasive and fibre-reinforced plastics. For particularly large plastic moulds, such as for bumpers, for example, the steel experts are showcasing the pre-hardened tool steel SF-2000® at the Group's stand. This steel comes in blocks up to 2,130 mm x 1,245 mm. Users profit from comparable short lead times, longer tool life and, ultimately, from more competitive manufacture of sophisticated mould parts.

To meet the increasing requirements of the automotive industry reliably, Finkl Steel continues to develop their processes and products. Together with the Industrial Research Chair for Forming Technologies of High Strength Alloys at the technical university ÉTS in Montreal (Canada), the company is working on optimising processes and developing innovative and high-strength steel solutions for tool and die manufacturing.
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Photo 1:  Tool steel mould, source: SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH
Photo 2: Car headlamp, source: ©iStockphoto-Finkl Steel 

About Finkl Steel
Finkl Steel is one of the world’s leading producers of forgings, plastic mould steel, tool steel for pressure die casting applications and open-die forgings. Finkl Steel belongs to the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group and is known for bundled steel expertise: Since April 2015, the North American subsidiaries of the Group – Finkl & Sons, Composite Forging and Sorel Forge – have merged and will now operate under the brand name “Finkl Steel”. The company produces steel products at three manufacturing sites in Chicago, Detroit (USA) and Quebec (CA) and sells to North America and around the world. With more than 100 patents, the chemical analysis of the steel grades and the manufacturing technologies set standards worldwide. The best evidence of Finkl Steel’s high product quality is the ISO 9000 certification conferred on the company’s plants, making Finkl Steel one of the first companies in America to be granted the certification.

Today, the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group is one of the world’s leading providers of customised solutions in the specialty steel long products business. A global name in tool steel and stainless long steel, the Group is one of two largest companies in Europe for alloy and high-alloy engineering steel. With around 10 000 employees at its own production and distribution companies in 38 countries across five continents, the Company supports and supplies customers wherever they operate. Besides the comprehensive Production and Sales & Services portfolio, customers benefit from the Company’s technological expertise, consistent high quality worldwide and in-depth knowledge of local markets.

Corporate Contact
Michel Perras • Finkl Steel
Phone: +1 450 746-4035 • Fax: +1 450 746-4092
E-Mail: Send E-Mail • Internet:

Stefanie Steiner • SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group
Phone: +41 (0) 41 209-5042 • Fax: +41 (0) 41 209-5043
E-Mail: Send E-Mail

External media contact
Hanna Maurer • additiv pr GmbH & Co. KG
Public relations for logistics, steel, industrial commodities and IT
Herzog-Adolf-Straße 3 • D-56410 Montabaur
Phone: +49 (0) 26 02-950 99 15 • Fax: +49 (0) 26 02-950 99 17
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