Well, let me be brutally honest with you. Years ago (seems like a lifetime to me), I began my career in purchasing in the valve business. I was voluntold for the position. The company I worked had gone thru an acquisition. A pretty positive thing for sure. But the Gent that was the purchasing guru of the “high end valves” (Monels and Titaniums), wasn’t keen on learning a “new system”. My job was to take an email that he sent to me with the quote request in the body, and attach drawings so that the manufacturer or vendor could produce the valves, by pouring or casting.
Yep. Attaching docs in an email is pretty difficult. Thank you Microsoft Engineers for drag and drop feature/function today.
This guy tho, pushed every button I had. He made me laugh. He made me so angry I couldn’t see straight. He made me cry tears of anger and frustration. I walked out of two meetings because he was a jackass. A total jackass. But he taught me much about purchasing and most importantly how to read a standard. His advice – “Peg, print it, mark out the BS, hilight the important words. Read the highlighted part. You’ll get it.”
I smoked (shudder, I have since quit) lots of cigarettes over this guy.
Let’s fast forward almost twenty years. Pete, I love ya, Bud, but it is just a skosche more than that.
Where I come from, my early days days in my career, finish wasn’t something that was taught to me. Hell, standards weren’t taught to me, really, until I landed where I currently sit. Oh, the standards have always been there, but within an internal material specification. My mill contacts knew those standards, and held my hand more times than not when I had to ask a question of said standards for the sales team (remember to utilize resources- can’t stress that enough. Mill reps and mill contacts are huge, BIG resources in your day).
It worked. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy (cred to Douglas–hope all is well with ya, Darlin).
Oh! But then I landed here. And honestly, up until about eighteen months or so ago, A484 made my eyes cross and glaze. You know what I’m talkin’ about? Deer in headlights. Times a bazillion.
A downturn in the primary economy in which one works will force one to learn it, ask questions, use it, rinse and repeat. Not to mention a co-worker that reminded me regularly, “Peg, dammit, you know this!!!”
Sometimes, one just needs affirmation. Ya know?
So I am going to explain as I understand it. Let me repeat that
As I understand it.
If you, Dear Reader don’t understand it, call a lifeline (5 minute rule exercised here).
If you, Dear Reader think I’m wrong, please comment (nicely- no haters here, please) because I am the keeper of keys and grounds here and I can edit.
The above statement is my sort of disclaimer. I have a mill rep that is absolutely awesome and I can already hear his eyes roll. Then there’s my immediate supervisor. He has forgotten more than I know on this subject. More actually, and he will be mentioned in future posts, I am sure of it.
So. What are we talking about? Oh yes. Finish. ASTM A484.
Technically, the standard says that finish is pretty much the surface of the metal and tolerances when that stainless steel bar ex mills (jargon for shipping from the mill). One knows the finish by the thermomechanical process used in producing the stainless bar (see the previous post).
Ok. Reading that again makes my head ache. But the Reader’s Digest version, as I understand it – the tolerances of the diameter of the bar (remember, my world is round).
Oh, there’s all kinds of finishes. Here’s a few: pickling (deleted for clarification in previous post), rough turned, centerless grinding, straightening, polished, peeled and polished, and the one that caused me lots of grief to wrap my head around, the infamous “cold drawn (or working) but not to increase mechanical properties” – (ASTM standard A484, 18.104.22.168)
Note on cold draw not increase properties – It is my goal to be able to explain that one so that it can easily be understood. I am so not there yet. Sorry Kids.
Really, tho, in day to day ordering of stainless bar, I can make it super simple.
Remember these three:
Cold finished (usually abbreviated by CF)
Hot Finished (usually abbreviated by HF)
Rough Turned (usually abbreviated by HF and is basically the same as HF. Made ya look).
Oh, there’s lots of jargon in the biz. I have found that the jargon is usually used when creating a description because ERP systems/ programs have a field for “description”. I have to tell you honestly, those descriptions helped in the early learning of stainless because for me, I didn’t have to know numbers. Going thru doc review (shout out to my qual guys), I am surprised at what I didn’t think I knew but did know because I have read it a bazillion times.
Some of the jargon you may see: CFA – Cold Finished Annealed condition
CDA – Cold Drawn Annealed condition
HRART – Hot Rolled Annealed and Rough Turned
HRRT – Hot Rolled Annealed Rough Turned
CG – Centerless Ground
And the completely explanatory
Peeled and Polished.
Gotta give a high five and fist bump to my mill guy, Kev. You know who you are.
I will discuss tolerances that result from the finishes in the next post.
For now tho, I leave you with this:
“Quality in a service or product is not what you out into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” Peter Drucker
** Comments are appreciated and welcomed. Please tho- this is a no hate zone and intended to assist those coming behind me. I had and still have awesome resources that have struggled to help me understand. Because of those individuals, I am better than I really am.