Hey, Guess who turns 40 this year!

Well, besides KHT.

Erno Rubik & cube

Erno Rubik and His Invention. Photoshop magic by Unknown

Good guess!

As you know, we’ve been all about problem solving for 40 years here at KHT, especially your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs. And as it happens one of my favorite toys also shares our 40 year anniversary – the Rubik’s Cube.

In the mid-1970s, Ernő Rubik worked at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest. Although it is widely reported that the ‘Cube’ was built as a teaching tool to help his students understand 3D objects, his actual purpose was working to solve the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. At the time he did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he scrambled his new Cube and then tried to restore it.

Rubik obtained a Hungarian patent HU170062 for his “Magic Cube” in 1975, the same year we were born. His original design has 8! (40,320) ways to arrange the corner cubes – Seven can be oriented independently, and the orientation of the eighth depends on the preceding seven, giving 37 (2,187) possibilities. With 12!/2 (239,500,800) ways to arrange the edges, the rule is that the combined arrangement of corners, edges, and centers must be an even permutation. For our mathematical friends, the formula reads: {8! \times 3^7 \times (12!/2) \times 2^{11}} = 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 – which is approximately 43 quintillion. To put this into a linear perspective, each permutation could cover the Earth’s surface 275 times.

So next time you find your Rubik’s Cube in the bottom of your toy box, think of KHT Heat and our love of problem solving – oh yea, and remember when you are trying to solve the cube, the world champion solved it in competition – in 38 seconds.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia’s page on Rubik’s Cube. You can read a whole lot more there.




Enjoy the Heat – Spring Is In the Air In Northeast Ohio

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After a long cold winter, we at Kowalski Heat Treating are heading out to enjoy the warmth of spring, filled with all kinds of North Coast events, festivals, sports and more. Here’s a short list of some of our “don’t miss” favorites:

1. Hessler Street Fair at CWRU
2. North Coast Harbor Block Party
3. Earth Fest at Cuyahoga County Fair Grounds
4. 86th Annual Geauga Maple Festival
5. The Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field
6. British Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art
7. The Cleveland International Film Festival
8. The Cleveland Asian Festival
9. Tri C Jazz Festival
10. Lebron & the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena
11. Preschool Safari at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
12. Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios
13. Saturdays at The Cleveland Flea
14. Thursday Nights at Edgewater Live
15. Glass House Explorations at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens
16. K-Love the Octopus at Cleveland Aquarium
17. #1 Best Beer City in America Conde Nast Traveler
18. New Urban farmer and Crop Kitchen restaurants
19. Farm and Art Market at BAYarts
20. Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic Horse Show




The techs at Kowalski Heat Treating have a lot in common with the golfers at the Masters.

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They both excel at PIA (Pain In The @%$) jobs! Have you seen #11 at Augusta?


And in case you get hungry (like I do) while watching the action: sandwich email 560



Hardness vs. Strength and a Salute to Rockwell

Rockwell 1914 Patent LR

The relationship of hardness and strength is common in the distortion sensitive thermal processing jobs here at Kowalski Heat Treating, where we’re always trying to solve customer part performance requirements, especially their PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!

For some of our customers, the words hardness and strength are often used interchangeably. However, when used as metallurgical terms to describe properties, the meanings are different and in some cases may even be complete opposites.

The strength of a material is directly related to the hardness and is independent of the grade. For example, if you have S7 at 48 HRC and H13 at 48 HRC they will have similar ultimate tensile strengths. The yield strength which is the stress that begins to cause permanent deformation is going to be approximately 80-95% of the tensile strength for the most tool steels. A less ductile material will have its yield strength closer to its tensile strength due to the lack of elongation and reduction of area during the tensile test. The relationship to hardness and tensile strength can be found in heat treat or mechanical strength reference books.

For us, the challenge is the delicate balance of hardness and strength, and the need to be consistent piece after piece, load after load, and delivery after delivery – the “magic and value” behind KHT Heat.

About 100 years ago, Stanley Rockwell, born in New Britain, CT in 1886, worked as a testing engineer and metallurgist for the New Departure manufacturing company in Bristol, CT., making ball bearings, automobiles and its best known product, the coaster bicycle brake some of us used when we were kids. While at the company, Stanley worked with Hugh Rockwell (no relation) an avid aviator and automobile enthusiast. The two spent a lot of their time trying to determine the best and most efficient way to measure the hardness of bearing races. The only tests at the time were Vickers (time consuming), Brinell (slow and not suitable for curved surfaces or small parts), Scleroscope (ok for hardened bearing steel but cumbersome to use) and the file test (useful only as a go/no go test at best).

To satisfy their needs, Stanley and Hugh invented the Rockwell Hardness Tester method, a simple sequence of major and minor load testing, enabling the user to perform an accurate hardness test on a variety of different sized parts in just a few seconds. The process proved to be useful, and in 1914 they filed for a patent (granted on February 11, 1919 after the Rockwell’s had left the company).

In the original patent application, they wrote: “We have devised a hardness tester which can be used by the ordinary workman to rapidly and accurately test the hardness not only of flat surfaces but also of raceways and other curved surfaced bodies.”

After leaving New Departure during WW1, Stanley served as a captain in the Army ordinance department and after the war became the works manager and metallurgist of the Weeks and Hoffman Co. in Syracuse, NY, where he improved the tester and applied for a second patent in Sept 1919. In 1923, he opened his own business called the New England Heat Treating Service Company – the name was later changed to the Stanley P. Rockwell Company in and still exists today.

Today, Rockwell Testing remains the most efficient and widely used hardness test thanks to the insights and efforts of Hugh and Stanley Rockwell, creative engineers always looking for practical solutions to problems.




We’re taking this time to bask in the warmth of family and faith. We hope you’re able to to the same.

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See you next week!