Lively Feel of Stainless Steel… Feel the Steel

Patented Technology Creates a New Ride for Bicycles
By: Douglas Gore
Nov. 4, 2010 - PRLog -- After years of engineering and development, KVA STAINLESS is introducing its new, patented, custom-made stainless steel bicycle tubing called MS² for high-performance bicycle frame applications. You can purchase on-line or give us a call…

Already proven by KVA STAINLESS in other industries, patented KVA STAINLESS martensitic stainless structural tubing can now be integrated into high performance bicycle frames to reduce weight, increase strength and stiffness, at a significant cost savings over competitive materials. KVA STAINLESS controlled atmosphere thermal processing ensures consistent, high-quality tubing.

MS² is an air-hardenable, martensitic stainless steel with amazing tensile strength > 200 ksi (1400 Mpa) which means it’s twice as strong as titanium with a frame weight comparable to high-end aluminum. The tubing has excellent corrosion-resistance, with elongation > 14% and a hardness ~ 38-42 HRC.

MS² tubing is made in the U.S.A. from first quality domestic stainless steel alloys using the most modern forming, welding and precision thermal processing technology available to produce custom-made tubing, including variable wall thickness known as "butted" tubes.

“Riders should expect excellent ride characteristics with outstanding durability and toughness from our new MS² bicycle tubing,” says Douglas Gore, KVA STAINLESS vice-president of sales. Excellent mechanical properties, including specific strength and stiffness, toughness and fatigue performance, can be achieved using MS² tubing in place of other materials. Ideal applications include silver brazed lugged construction and TIG welded bicycle frames.

Over the last two years, Joe McCrink, production manager and Danny Codd, director of engineering have manufactured and tested numerous road bike frames using MS2 tubing.  McCrink stated, “There is a growing interest for stainless steel frames as riders like the ‘feel of steel’.”  McCrink and Codd recently attended Interbike to network with bicycle manufacturers. “There was much excitement and interest in KVA’s stainless steel tubing technology across all bicycle market segments, from BMX to high-end road bikes. It’s the right time for this technology in the bicycle industry,” says Codd.

Ed McCrink, the founder of KVA STAINLESS set up Hi-Temp, Inc. in 1953 and grew the company into one of the largest thermal processors of martensitic stainless steels in the United States. Successful with this venture, Mr. McCrink sold Hi-Temp in the 1970s and, with an entrepreneurial spirit, moved on to a number of different ventures. But Mr. McCrink couldn't forget about martensitic stainless steel. Mr. McCrink wondered why people weren't using this material in structural applications. Years after he sold the company, he came back to his roots of metallurgy, and he wanted to introduce the high strength features and benefits of martensitic stainless steel to different industries.

Working with a team of engineers and metallurgists, Mr. McCrink developed a way to take flat sheets of martensitic stainless steel and transform them into tubes. “Rolling the sheet to create the tube was never the hard part, welding a seam in martensitic steel so the tube became one, homogenous structure was always the issue” said Gore. After years of engineering and testing, Mr. McCrink found a method to prevent the inherent cracking and weakness when a martensitic stainless steel tube is high-speed seam welded.

The resulting stainless tube is light and strong, and not nearly as expensive to produce as a seamless tube when compared to other stainless steel alloys or other metals, including titanium.

For additional information, you can purchase on-line or give us a call…please visit KVA STAINLESS website or call 760-489-5821.

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KVA Stainless is an engineering and research company that also manufactures seam welded tubing. KVA has spent years developing and patenting it’s technologies around air hardenable martensitic stainless steels and other hardenable ferrous alloys.
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