SMDI Rolls Out New Online Bar Steel Machinability Estimator

Detroit, MI, April 9, 2008 – The Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), today introduced the new Bar Steel Machinability Estimator, a tool for automotive engineers to complete calculations on the machining productivity of carbon and alloy steels in carbide tooling applications.  The machining productivities of different steel grades can be compared and used in designing parts to lower overall manufacturing costs.

The new Machinability Estimator is an online tool developed from 10 years of automotive steel data using the most up-to-date machining methodology, steels and technology. Design, materials and manufacturing engineers can estimate the machining productivity of carbon and alloy steels prior to production for the maximum manufacturing impact.

“Machining costs are 20 to 70 percent of the overall value of automotive parts,” said David Anderson, director, Long Products Market Development Group. “The Bar Steel Machinability Estimator offers OEMs and suppliers the ability to select optimal process parameters which can assist in designing cost-effective parts."

Users can input a steel composition and receive a relative machinability number or an estimated cutting speed for 30 minutes of tool life in surface feet per minute.  To access the Machinability Estimator, click here.

The Machinability Estimator builds on the Bar Steel Machinability Database which is a detailed record of automotive bar steel machinability under single point carbide turning conditions.  It was developed from several years of controlled testing at eight different steel and automotive companies.  Machinability tests were conducted on more than 30 significant industrial carbon, alloy, resulfurized and microalloyed steel grades using carbide tolls in a standardized single point turning test.  To access the Machinability Database, click here.

”The Machinability Estimator is the most progressive online resource available for machining productivity,” said Roger Joseph, project manager, Machinability Estimator and Machinability Database. “This online resource moves technology and information forward for today’s automotive industry.  Tests are currently underway using coated carbide tools, and those test results will be incorporated into the Machinability Estimator upon completion.” 

Through the support of the SMDI, the Long Products Market Development Group is growing the market for value-added steel bar and rod products. With seven member companies and two task forces -- Automotive / Heavy Equipment and Construction / Infrastructure -- the group is committed to developing innovative solutions to the challenges facing their clients and the steel industry.

For more news or information, visit

SMDI’s Long Product Market Development Group Member Companies:

  • ArcelorMittal
  • Gerdau Ameristeel
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Republic Engineered Products
  • Steel Dynamics, Inc.
  • The Timken Company