Seamless Tubes for Automotive Industry: new opportunities for Centravis

For years, the majority of car producers used welded or carbon tubes. But standards have risen. Now, the most innovative companies want more efficient and eco-friendly solutions, such as seamless stainless tubes, which is the core competence of Centravis.

Welded tubes are good as long as the working pressure doesn’t exceed 300 bars. Now engines have 350 bars, and the next generation will be 400 bars, and higher. The seamless tube offers the solution that does not include the disadvantage of the weld.

One of the first Centravis orders from car producers was in 2011. It was for cold finished bright annealed (CFA) instrumentation tubes (hydraulic tubes) with 21mm OD & 2.8mm WT. The main difficulty in the production of this first order for vehicles was the limited tolerance on the outer (± 0.1 mm) and inner (±0.08 mm) diameter, which was even more stringent than the requirements of the EN 10305. Upon successfully executing this first order, company has been continually receiving and producing precision tubes for various automotive projects, ranging from OD 4 mm–30 mm to WT 1 mm–3 mm.

Currently, the majority of automotive precision tubes are produced of TP304/304L steel grades. However, keeping the above trends and requirements in mind, Centravis is actively developing new products of duplex steel grades. For example, in using advanced heat treatment technology, developed by Centravis for duplex cold finished tubes, we are able to get mechanical properties of super duplex grades (UNS S 32750/EN 1.4410 and UNS S 32760/EN 1.4501) without a loss in ductility or corrosion resistance. This makes the yield strength of duplex S31803 grade tubes, produced according to Centravis technology, 2.5-3 times stronger. This allows not just to decrease a wall thickness and thus to reduce metal consumption, it also increases the lifespan of fuel feed lines and fuel rails inside the engines.

Today, Centravis has state-of-the-art-equipment, including up-to-date rolling mills, cold pilgers, bright annealing furnaces, and vacuum degreasers. Last year, a cut-to-fixed-length machine was installed, which saves our customer the trouble of extra cutting operations.
Stainless Steel World Americas, October 2015

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