11 800-826-3045 THE COMPANY points on the Rockwell C scale. Subsequent heat-treatment does not restore this partially annealed area to full hardness and strength. Therefore, the final result can be a relatively soft headed bolt. This process is not preferred by ARP. Our patented process begins with a softer wire that can be cold forged. The process work hardens the head and the under head area to the desired hardness. We then power extrude the front end to achieve the reduction and hardness in the shank resulting in a bolt with even strength and hardness from end to end. The same is true of thread rolling. Temperature and die speed must be controlled and changed for different alloys. Many bolt manufacturers who meet the Aerospace Specifications don’t come close to meeting our standards. We consistently go beyond standard aerospace specs. Our concern with the manufacturing processes extends to the details of heat-treating, shot-peening, fillet rolling and grinding – down to the frequency of dressing the grinding wheels. In the arena where aerospace standards are a starting point and random failures are unacceptable, I feel ARP stands alone as a primary engineering and manufacturing source for specialty and custom fasteners for use in motorsports. It is important to realize that simply quoting an AMS (Aerospace Material Specification) number without strength and percentage of elongation numbers is meaningless. Statements that the use of a particular material will, in itself, result in extreme strength and resistance to fatigue can be misleading. In the world of high strength alloys, whether they are used for bolts or for landing gears, the manufacturing processes are at least as important as the material specification. Some in our industry claim to inspect materials at the “molecular” level. In metallurgical terms, mole- cules are not necessarily part of the vocabulary. Our engineers tell us that talking about molecules is misleading. When reference is made to metal, it is typically in terms of atom structures. We routinely check metallurgical features microscopically. By the way, the same is true for claims of manufacturing to “zero tolerance.” “Our engineers tell us that this is tech- nically unrealistic.” Smith: “How does the actual pro- cess work at ARP?” “For each new design, we produce a number of prototype parts using different design aspects and sometimes different methods. We inspect and test after each process, choose the best design and method of manufacture, and then freeze the design and write the manufacturing specification.” Smith: “You have mentioned the importance of fatigue resistance. Is there a difference in the procedures for strength and fatigue testing between aerospace and the specialty racing industry?” “Yes. While the ultimate tensile strength testing is the same, fatigue testing is different. Aerospace fasteners are fatigue test- ed to the relevant specification of fluctuating tension load and number of cycles typically 130,000 cycles with the high tension load at 50% of the UTS and the low load at 10% of the high load. If all of the test samples last 85,000 cycles (per AMS 5842- D), the lot is accepted. Even though racing fasteners are not continuously subjected to their maximum design load, at 18,000 rpm, 100,000 cycles takes just 5 minutes, thirty-four sec- onds. Except for drag rac- ing, measured in seconds, no race lasts just 5 min- utes. Therefore we consider this Aerospace Standard to be inadequate. At ARP, we fatigue test to elevated loads (10% above aerospace requirements) and to a minimum cycle life that exceeds 350,000 cycles. The majority of samples are routinely tested to one million cycles. During material develop- ment...and in the case of extremely critical new designs, we test to destruction. Thread rolling is the last mechanical operation in our man- ufacturing process. For each production run the thread rolling machine is shut down after a few parts. These parts are inspected for dimensional accuracy and thread quality, and are physically tested for both strength and fatigue before the run is continued. Random samples are inspected and tested throughout the run. Extremely critical components are individually inspected for dimensional integrity.” Smith: “What about out-sourcing?” “Economics often dictate that many processes in the manufac- ture of aerospace fasteners are farmed out. In the early days, ARP began as an out-source thread rolling shop. Over the years, however, we have found, through experience, that the only way to maintain the quality we require is to keep everything in-house. From heading through machining, grind- ing, heat-treat, thread rolling, and shot-peening to black oxide treatment we perform every operation in house on our own equipment with our own employees.” Smith: “Gary, One of the things that I am hearing is that every aspect of the manufacture of racing engine fasteners is more expensive than that of similar aerospace items.” “True, but the bottom line is that we have to look at the cost aspect of the very best fastener versus the cost aspect of a blown engine and a lost race. In the end, the manufacturing of fasteners for racing comes down to a matter of attitude; a refusal to accept published standards and procedures as the best that can be done and most of all a determination to learn and to make still better products.” 5 stage “Cold Header” used in the production of ARP bolts Fatigue, tensile strength and Rockwell tetsing are all key parts of our material quality control process.