SMDI’s Bar Machinability Committee Expanding Steel Research and Industry Collaboration

DETROIT, Oct. 18, 2012 – The Building upon the successful development of its Bar Machinability Database, which is comprised of test data from a single point turning test, and adoption of its Bar Steel Machinability Estimator that calculates cutting tool life based on defined criterion, the Steel Market Development Institute’s (SMDI) Bar Application Group (BAG) Machinability Sub-committee is stepping up their efforts. The organization is currently gathering industry input to identify critical areas for new research and testing to further foster the use of steel in ground vehicles. SMDI is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

According to insight gathered during the Bar Machinability Summit, there’s a critical need for consistency and predictability in auto steel machining. During the meeting, automakers and industry suppliers provided insight surrounding the future machinability testing needs of the manufacturing base. SMDI’s BAG Machinability Sub-committee will use this feedback for future program planning and work to initiate industry, government and academia collaborations to drive the use of steel as the material of choice for automotive and industrial applications.

“Given current discussions surrounding the importance of material choice for automotive lightweighting initiatives, accurate information regarding the proper machining of steel is critical,” David Anderson, senior director, automotive technical plan and long products program, SMDI said. “The purpose of the Bar Machinability Summit was to determine what steel machinability data, in terms of materials and operations, was of interest to the industry and how SMDI’s BAG Machinability Sub-committee might develop pre-competitive data that would enable increased use of steel.”

According to summit participants, there is a need to better understand the factors that affect machinability to improve machining consistency, minimize downtime and better predict machining throughput and cost. Machine downtime is the largest contributor to machining-related costs, when changes in steel sourcing, lot-to-lot variation, surface-to-core microstructural variation, etc. may have an adverse impact on cutting tool life.

Composed of representatives from automotive OEMs, academia and the steel industry, the Machinability Sub-Committee develops information needed by the machining industry for material selection, process development and for improving understanding of the factors that influence the machinability of steel. The Machinability Summit was held earlier this summer at the SMDI offices in Southfield, Mich. to identify key areas for future research and testing. Summit presentations and an output report can be accessed through the Bar Machinability link on

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new-growth opportunities in emerging steel markets. The Long Products Market Development Group (LPMDG), formed in 1997, provides a unique forum for long products steel producers. Through the support of SMDI, the LPMDG is growing the market for value-added steel bar and rod products. For more news or information, visit For more news or information, visit or follow us on twitter at

SMDI’s Long Products Market Development Group investors:
• Gerdau
• Nucor Corporation
• The Timken Company

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Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763