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Rollin' with Niagara Specialty Metals


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Got a message a few weeks ago from Bob Shabala that a super secret special steel I had ordered for a super secret special project was about to become available, and so I arranged to swing by to pick it up and see the guys in action.

 

Bob was quick to show me the new abrasive media blaster they're installing. Holy cow! is this thing huge! The feed pipe from the media hopper has got to be 10 inches in diameter!!!

 

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The media blast tips are mounted to this automated armature - amazing how big these things are! Certainly over an inch in diameter.

 

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The fun stuff to watch is always the hot stuff. Today they were rolling an alloy that had a tremendous amount of molybdenum. When brought to it's ideal rolling heat, it billows smoke and makes for an awesome show.

 

Here's the kiln. You can see some of the smoke released from the vent at the top of the furnace.

 

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When the steel reaches its optimum temp, one of the guys swings in with a fork truck, grabs the massive piece and feeds it into the rolling mill.

 

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On the other side of the rolling mill two workers wait for the billet to be fed through the rollers. As it comes through, one worker controls it's movement with a pick, while another mans a hydraulic lift to be fed back to the other side of the roller.

 

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Just an amazing spectacle to witness!

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On our way to the next building, I happened to pass by this stack of massive billets of CPMS90v, each one easily 6 inches thick!!!

 

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On our way to the knife stock room, we passed this mondo bandsaw cutting strips out of a thick pile of sheet stock...

 

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...and another cool machine that flattens sheet stock. It's got a series of staggered rollers that apply force and straighten it to almost perfectly flat.

 

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Here's Bob sitting atop a stack of CPM154 - great guy, lots of steel!

 

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This is the best part, though...

 

 

STEEL!!!!!

 

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440c, CPM154, CPMD2, CPMS30v, CPMS35vn, CPMS90v, CPM15v...

 

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...as well as a newcomer!

 

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Thanks again to Bob, Jeff, and the rest of the staff at NSM - it's always a blast to see their operation, and they're just good folks.

 

One last gratuitous photo, just cuz I dig it:

 

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The back 'yard' where they stack and store all the billets is just outrageous. Enormous piles of steel everywhere! He's a shot I took a couple years back of Bob Shabala and Uncle Aldo Bruno, the New Jersey Steel Baron, just before buying the entire lot of L6 he's perched upon:

 

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