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Stainless steel shielding
Stainless steel shielding
Keywords: Brandauer, Stainless steel, Shielding
It is reported that a breakthrough in manufacturing technology is enabling precision presswork specialist, C. Brandauer & Co. to produce its EMC shielding product ranges in both stainless steel and beryllium-copper using the same press tooling.
This major advance in forming and heat treatment technology is said to be the result of an intensive 18-month development programme and follows the winning of substantial orders for custom-engineered stainless steel finger strips from leading electronics and electrical equipment manufacturer Vero Ltd last year.
"At that time, we had to make significant tooling modifications to replicate existing beryllium-copper products in stainless steel", says Brandauer's Sales Director, Michael Griffith.
"Stainless steel has long been viewed as an attractive alternative to beryllium-copper alloys for electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) shielding applications. However, its metal forming properties pose severe technical constraints, in particular the tendency to crack and neck at small bend radii", he adds.
"The initial Vero contract helped to focus the direction of our development programme. By working closely with this and other customers, we have made significant strides in refining our manufacturing processes to develop solution. It means we can now manufacture stainless steel products on existing tools and, importantly, offer them at similar prices to our standard beryllium-copper range."
At the heart of the new process is the use of 17/7 precipitate hardening steel, which is processed in its initial state. Subsequent heat treatment and finishing operations are the key to the success of the new manufacturing method and are the subject of a patent application.
Through a series of rigorous pilot production trials, Brandauer reports that it has proved its ability to hold manufacturing tolerances consistently to required levels. As a result, it is now offering stainless steel equivalents to virtually all its beryllium-copper EMC shielding products.
During the past three years, Brandauer has seen a steady increase in demand for stainless steel EMC shielding components, particularly from overseas markets including Scandinavia and Germany.
"This strength of interest has been underlined by the reaction to the launch of our new range at the recent Productronica Exhibition in Germany", says Mr Griffith.
"From discussions with potential customers and the volume of enquiries we took, I am convinced we hold a clear technological advantage. Sales of our EMC shielding products have already increased to more than »1 million in four years. Through this manufacturing breakthrough, I am confident of accelerating our growth, particularly in the all-important export sector."
Details available from: C. Brandauer & Co Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 121 359 2822; e-mail: mgriffith@ brandauer-co.uk