Aerospace VAR alloy steel supply pinch eases
Jul 02, 2012 | 12:14 PM
| Frank Haflich
LOS ANGELES A supply pinch in vacuum-arc remelt (VAR) alloy steels that worried aircraft industry buyers early this year appears to have eased, as planned and probable expansions by at least two domestic producers could help to alleviate future crunches.
Wyomissing, Pa.-based Carpenter Technology Corp. is building additional capacity following its February acquisition of Latrobe Specialty Metals Inc., one of the principal suppliers of these steels. Meanwhile, another major source, Ellwood City, Pa.-based Ellwood Forge Group Inc., also appears likely to boost output.
While stretching lead times earlier this year was a concern among buyers of such popular vacuum remelt products as 4340 low-alloy steel, they particularly bothered buyers of 300M ultra-high-strength forging ingot, a modified version of 4340 that is critical in the production of aircraft landing gear. ....
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