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Products and solutions, 2004-03-29, 02:00 AM

More heat - less wire: new heating element alloy from ThyssenKrupp VDM

ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl, has developed a new alloy for heating element wire which will permit manufacturers of domestic appliances to save material costs. The alloy means that heating element wire for appliances such as coffee machines, hair dryers and toasters can be made thinner while lasting just as long as conventional wire. Customers of ThyssenKrupp VDM will therefore need less material than before. The new alloy, named Aluchrom Eco, has been filed for patent and will be unveiled at Wire 2004 in Düsseldorf. ThyssenKrupp VDM will be exhibiting in hall 12, booth 12 A 21.

Heating element wire is heated to temperatures of up to 800 degrees Celsius in domestic appliances. To ensure they can withstand these temperatures over the entire life of the appliance, the wires are made of ferritic chromium steels which are additionally alloyed with aluminum. When the wires become hot, a firmly adherent aluminum oxide coating is produced on the wire surface as a corrosion product. This coating prevents oxygen from being transported further inside the wire and destroying it through high-temperature corrosion.

With Aluchrom Eco, ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH has succeeded in reducing the aluminum content of such wires and increasing their life compared with conventional wires. The aluminum content of the new alloy is between 2.5 and three percent. In a comparable conventional alloy such as 1.4725, the aluminum content is 3.5 to five percent.

To ensure a dense, firmly adherent oxide coating for high-temperature corrosion resistance, the alloying elements yttrium, hafnium and zirconium are added to the new material in a total content of 0.3 percent. Tests have shown that wires made of Aluchrom Eco last around 60 percent longer than those made of comparable alloys.

Using Aluchrom Eco, customers of ThyssenKrupp VDM can save around 12 percent material because the alloy not only lasts longer but also has lower specific resistance than comparable heating element materials. Wires of thinner cross-section can therefore be used to achieve the resistances required in electrical appliances.

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ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Dietmar Stamm
Phone: +49 203 / 52 - 2 6267
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

Bernd Overmaat
Phone: +49 203 / 52 - 4 51 85
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

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