Technology. The future is here. And the future is coming. So, hang on to your hat, baby!!!!!!!!!!

There’s no question that technology has profoundly changed the way we live — how we pay for groceries, watch our favorite shows, browse restaurant menus, communicate and so much more. While these are all seemingly ordinary interactions in modern day, they are woven with extraordinary innovation, transforming how we interact and make decisions. It’s easy to forget the level of technology involved in simply “tapping” a card to pay a bill or uploading a photo to social media. Pretty amazing, right? I get such a kick out of new inventions and new ideas.  My gang here at KHT really goes out of their way to solve problems (you know, your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! One of our favorite solutions is to 3D print prototype fixtures to better rack parts before we treat them. It’s concepts to completion in a matter of hours. It is amazing how designs don’t always translate into success, with actual fixtures our team can see first hand!   Below, is a list of several technological inventions that have transformed many of our day-to-day lives.  And with all the excitement about AI, it’s tough to guess just what’s in the pipeline.  Much of this technology has incredible benefits for us,  we just need to be cautious!  Thanks to and for the info. Enjoy!

Personalized Algorithms 
Looking for a new show to watch? Netflix has a rec for that based on your personal preferences. According to Netflix, “Recommendation algorithms are at the core of the Netflix product. We continually seek to improve them by advancing the state-of-the-art in the field. We do this by using the data about what content our members watch and enjoy along with how they interact with our service to get better at figuring out what the next great movie or TV show for them will be.”  It’s reported that people discover more than 80% of the shows they watch on the streaming platform through this recommendation system, which speaks to the power of personalization. The system works by using “machine learning and algorithms to help break viewers’ preconceived notions and find shows that they might not have initially chosen.” The goal: Keep finding people new things to watch.

Contactless Payments 
Changing the way we make purchases, contactless payments allow for data transfer and wireless communication between devices. Nerd Wallet explains, “Near-field communication, or NFC, technology is used for contactless payments and allows wireless communication between two devices — a contactless card and a card reader, for example. Technology, like NFC, that uses radio frequency identification, or RFID, has been around for decades.”  RFID “sends information between a tag to a scanner. The scanner, or reader, emits radio waves that pick up signals from nearby items with RFID tags, which also send out radio waves,” per the outlet. “With its ability to store and send huge amounts of data, RFID technology has been implemented in a number of sectors, including health care and the military, in a variety of applications.”  This type of technology allows for “tap” payments, in which a card or device is held above a reader to make a transaction-now used in 79% of worldwide transactions.

QR Codes
Invented in 1994, Quick Response, or QR, codes were initially designed by a Japanese company to track automobile parts moving through the assembly process. Fast forward to 2020, and these scannable bar codes boomed in popularity. In a 2021 CNBC article, it was reported that Bitly, a link management service, saw a 750% increase in QR code downloads over the prior year and a half. Today, QR codes are seen everywhere, from menus and boarding passes to coupons and business cards. And growing in popularity are QR code tattoos, with scans of the body ink taking viewers to songs, images, and more. In my neighborhood, a local candidate put one on his yard signs, providing a fast link to his info page.  Brilliant!

Facial Recognition
Though facial recognition technology has its roots in the 1960s, the software was popularized in 2010 when Facebook started using it to identify faces in user-uploaded photos. In the decade since, the social media platform has scaled back its usage of the system, but the technology is increasingly being employed for good in other ways. These include securing access to phones, laptops, and passports; finding lost pets; aiding in solving crimes; and going through airport security. While the technology has its drawbacks, the Pew Research Center reported the public is “more likely to see facial recognition use by police as good, rather than bad for society.”  Here in Cleveland, they are using it at Browns Stadium for beer purchasing … not sure that’s a good idea. This is one technology we all have to be careful with.

Payment Sharing Apps 
A hero for group dinners, Venmo started in 2009 as a way to digitally pay friends. More than a decade later, it’s still known to be one of the best apps for splitting bills and sending money without a fee. It’s so ubiquitous that there are even Venmo etiquette rules!  I use it often to send or receive money from my girls, or pay my golf debts – not that I have any … PayPal — founded in 1998 — remains the most popular payment sharing platform, used by 57% of U.S. adults, according to Pew Research Center.

Statistical Machine Translation
In 2006, Google launched Google Translate, which utilizes statistical machine translation: an approach that uses “large volumes of bilingual data to find the most probable translation for a given input.” While the service doesn’t always give ideal translations for the correct context, it is useful for travelers trying to read a menu or anyone seeking to better communicate with someone who speaks another language. It has steadily expanded to over 100 languages and has upgraded its features with additions like instant camera translations. And the tool reached a major milestone in 2021, marking 1 billion installs on Android devices.

Global Positioning System 
Chances are you use Google Maps, Waze, or a similar app to get from point A to point B, and you have the Global Positioning System, or GPS, to thank for that. Although GPS has its origins in the 1970s and was initially used for military purposes (my friends uncle worked at Bell Labs and used it for guidance systems), it went mainstream in 2007 —  in cars, cell phones, and other gadgets. GPS is “a space-based radio-navigation system consisting of a constellation of satellites broadcasting navigation signals and a network of ground stations and satellite control stations used for monitoring and control,” per the Federal Aviation Administration. “Currently 31 GPS satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of approximately 11,000 miles providing users with accurate information on position, velocity, and time anywhere in the world and in all weather conditions.”

Zoom and Video-Calling Services
Practically synonymous with video chat, Zoom has changed the way many of us work and communicate with loved ones. The platform facilitates remote work, meetings, and catchups from afar by allowing people to connect virtually in calls of up to 300 participants. While it may seem like the platform became an overnight success in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform was actually founded in 2011. Today, there is countless competition in the video conferencing space, but Zoom continues to be a top choice for its functionality and popularity.

We all are amazed at Likewise, an early-stage startup backed by Gates’s private office, is launching a chatbot that offers users personalized recommendations for books, movies, TV shows and podcasts. The chatbot, called Pix, runs on Open AI’s natural-language processing technology and will learn users’ preferences over time. It will be free to users. The Gates-backed startup plans to use its 600 million consumer data points to distinguish its media-recommendation platform from the one-size-fits-all chatbots that are already available. Unlike the recommendation software available within streaming services, Pix will suggest content across platforms to users who text, email or ask it questions via its app. Watch it explode!


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


Now That’s Hedy

My friends, the incredible beauty of Hedy Lamarr is her brains. In that second photo from the top is Hedy Lamarr on the left, Louis B. Mayer (Metro Goldwin Mayer) who introduced her to America and Rita Hayworth. Below that on the right she’s with Spencer Tracy. Second image from the bottom is her & arranger George Antheil’s patent drawing for frequency hopping. And, not to worry, there are no shortages of t-shirt options for Hedy Lamarr fans. Also check out the terrific video links at the end and a really great podcast made just for kids. 

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day, and we started to discuss the genius behind great inventions.  Reflection, pondering, trial and error and sometimes just straight-out incredible ideas – it’s usually pretty tough to know where they come from.  Now, combine the mind of a great natural genius inventor with the beauty of a global superstar actress – and you get Hedy Lamarr – considered by some as the greatest looking actress of all times – and one of the greatest natural inventors.  Hats off to all the engineers out there – handsome, beautiful, or just another face in the crowd, I marvel at your ideas and passion.  Here’s a fun little recap of an amazing woman and an incredible life – filled with travel, inventions, movies, drama, marriages and more.  Enjoy!  And be sure to catch one of her great movies. Thanks Wikipedia, PBS and

  • Hedy Lamarr (/ˈheɪdi/; born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler; November 9, 1914 – January 19, 2000) was an Austrian-born American film actress and inventor.
  • Her father was born to a Galician Jewish family in Lemberg (now Lviv in Ukraine) and was a successful bank director.  Trude, her mother, a pianist and Budapest native, had come from an upper-class Hungarian Jewish family. She had converted to Catholicism and was described as a “practicing Christian” who raised her daughter as a Christian.
  • As a child, Lamarr showed an interest in acting and was fascinated by theatre and film. At the age of 12, she won a beauty contest in Vienna.  While taking acting classes in Vienna when one day, she forged a note from her mother and went to Sascha-Film and was able to get herself hired as a script girl. While there, she was able to get a role as an extra in Money on the Street (1930), and then a small speaking part in Storm in a Water Glass (1931). Producer Max Reinhardt then cast her in a play entitled The Weaker Sex, which was performed at the Theater in der Josefstadt. Reinhardt was so impressed with her that he brought her with him back to Berlin.
  • In early 1933, at age 18, Lamarr was given the lead in Gustav Machatý’s film Ecstasy. She played the neglected young wife of an indifferent older man.  The film became both celebrated and notorious for showing Lamarr’s face in the throes of pleasure as well as close-up and brief nude scenes, a result of her being “duped” by the director and producer, who used high-power telephoto lenses. As you can imagine, it caused quite a sensation.
  • Although she was dismayed and now disillusioned about taking other roles, the film gained world recognition after winning an award in Rome. Throughout Europe, it was regarded an artistic work. In America it was considered overly sexual and received negative publicity, especially among women’s groups and was banned there and in Germany.
  • Fredrich Mandl, an Austrian military arms merchant and munitions manufacturer, was reputedly the third-richest man in Austria. He was obsessed to meet her. She fell for his charming and fascinating personality, partly due to his immense financial wealth. Her parents, both of Jewish descent, did not approve, due to Mandl’s ties to Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, and later, German Führer Adolf Hitler, but they could not stop the headstrong Lamarr.  On August 10, 1933, Lamarr married Mandl. She was 18 years old and he was 33.
  • Mandl had close social and business ties to the Italian government, selling munitions to the country, and although like Hedy, his own father was Jewish, had ties to the Nazi regime of Germany, as well. Lamarr wrote that the dictators of both countries attended lavish parties at the Mandl home. Lamarr accompanied Mandl to business meetings, where he conferred with scientists and other professionals involved in military technology. These conferences were her introduction to the field of applied science and nurtured her latent talent in science.
  • Lamarr’s marriage to Mandl eventually became unbearable, and she decided to separate herself from both her husband and country. In her autobiography, she wrote that she disguised herself as her maid and fled to Paris, but by other accounts, she persuaded Mandl to let her wear all of her jewelry for a dinner party, then disappeared afterward.
  • After arriving in London in 1937, she met Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, who was scouting for talent in Europe.  She initially turned down the offer he made her (of $125 a week), but then booked herself onto the same New York bound liner as him and managed to impress him enough to secure a $500 a week contract. Mayer persuaded her to change her name to Hedy Lamarr, choosing the surname in homage to the beautiful silent film star, Barbara La Marr, on the suggestion of his wife, who admired La Marr. He brought her to Hollywood in 1938 and began promoting her as the “world’s most beautiful woman”.
  • Mayer loaned Lamarr to producer Walter Wanger, who was making Algiers (1938), an American version of the French film, Pépé le Moko (1937). Lamarr was cast in the lead opposite Charles Boyer. The film created a “national sensation.”  According to one viewer, when her face first appeared on the screen, “everyone gasped … Lamarr’s beauty literally took one’s breath away.”
  • Her off-screen life and personality during those years was quite different from her screen image. She spent much of her time feeling lonely and homesick. She might swim at her agent’s pool but shunned the beaches and staring crowds. When asked for an autograph, she wondered why anyone would want it.
  • She participated in a war bond-selling campaign with a sailor named Eddie Rhodes. Rhodes was in the crowd at each Lamarr appearance, and she would call him up on stage. She would briefly flirt with him before asking the audience if she should give him a kiss. The crowd would say “yes”, to which Hedy would reply that she would if enough people bought war bonds. After enough bonds were purchased, she would kiss Rhodes and he would head back into the audience. Then they would head off to the next war bond rally.
  • Although Lamarr had no formal training and was primarily self-taught, she worked in her spare time on various hobbies and inventions, which included an improved traffic stoplight and a tablet that would dissolve in water to create a carbonated drink (think Coca Cola) for the soldiers.
  • Among the few who knew of Lamarr’s inventiveness was aviation tycoon Howard Hughes. She suggested he change the rather square design of his aeroplanes (which she thought looked too slow and boxy) to a more streamlined shape, based on pictures of the fastest birds and fish she could find. He actively supported her “tinkering” hobbies and put his team of scientists and engineers at her disposal, saying they would do or make anything she asked for.
  • During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, an emerging technology in naval war, could easily be jammed and set off course by the Nazis. She thought of creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano roll mechanism with radio signals.  They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system, which they patented.  Antheil recalled: “Although the US Navy did not adopt the technology until later, the principles of their work are incorporated into Bluetooth and GPS technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of CDMA and Wi-Fi.”
  • “We began talking about the war, which, in the late summer of 1940, was looking most extremely black. Hedy said that she did not feel very comfortable, sitting there in Hollywood and making lots of money when things were in such a state. She said that she knew a good deal about munitions and various secret weapons … and that she was thinking seriously of quitting MGM and going to Washington, DC, to offer her services to the newly established Inventors’ Council.”
  • In 1997, Lamarr and Antheil received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award, given to individuals whose creative lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields have significantly contributed to society. Lamarr was featured on the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. In 2014, Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  • During her film career, she was featured in over 30 films. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Lamarr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Blvd adjacent to Vine Street where the walk is centered.
  • Lamarr was married and divorced six times and had three children.


An interview with Denise Loder-DeLuca, Hedy Lamarr’s daughter.

A very old TV game show called “What’s My Line?”  Go to about 14:56 for the “MYSTERY GUEST: Hedy Lamarr”

And one podcast:
Have you heard of this Podcast: “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”? If you have kids, listen to it with them. This one is on Hedy Lamarr read by Tatiana Maslany.Gives a lot of great info in kid level writing. Runs 19 minutes.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


75 Years Ago – Nice Call!

The car phone has come a long way, baby. From 80 pounds of equipment in the trunk to devices weighing ounces that are also great cameras, gaming platforms, email apps, and soooooo much more!!! Next you’ll be able to wear them and even see with them. Wow!!!!

Driving home, my phone rang through the car sound system.  It was a call from Jackie asking me to stop and pick up some groceries we needed for dinner.  Not taking my hands off the wheel, I was able to answer the call, talk with her, get the info and say goodbye.  Think about it.  A cell phone built into my car. People now take this type of technology for granted, but not so long ago it was firmly in the realm of science fiction. The transition from fantasy to reality was far from the flip of a switch. The amount of time, money, talent and effort required to solve PIA (Pain In The @#$) Jobs! goes far beyond any one product development cycle. Technology development really occurs on a timescale of decades. While the last steps of technological development capture headlines, it takes thousands of scientists and engineers working for decades on myriad technologies to get things to work correctly.  Here’s some history on the invention of car phones.  Thanks Smithsonian and Nevada Inventors for the info.

Here’s a classic from ELO to enjoy while reading.

  •  The first mobile phone service, for 80-pound telephones installed in cars, was demonstrated on June 17, 1946, that’s 75 years ago! The service was only available in major cities and highway corridors and was aimed at companies rather than individuals.
  •  The inventor of the car phone is Bell System Operating Companies, in 1946, an outcome of Bell Laboratories. Most of the equipment converted for the use of car phones were being experimented on, even before the second world war. Western Electric Type 28 VHF equipment radio equipment was used alongside Bell System equipment internally at that time.
  • The equipment filled much of a car’s trunk, and subscribers made calls by picking up the handset and speaking to a switchboard operator. The earliest car phone services were connected to Public Switched Telephone Network. At that time, the American population’s mobility grew drastically; it was the postwar years—designs of phones committed into the hands of Western Electric Corporation.
  • Western Electric Corporation was the major supplier of the phone sets to Bell System. Bell Laboratories built the phones’ overall system; they were responsible for setting specifications for the equipment.
  • During this period, independent Telephone Companies were building their design and were supplied by Automatic Electric. Western Electric Type 38 and Type 39 VHF FM police radio equipment combined with Bell System equipment made a stylish telephone with a selective calling decoder.
  • The decoder was designed to ring a bell in the automobile if any caller signaled the phone’s number. The decoder was enclosed in glass as a small wheel, having pins on some parts of its circumference.  The decoders were originally built for signaling right-to-way for the railway.  At some point, they were used in ships during radio installations in the 30s. The decoder development was a proven concept. It was named 102.
  • The result of the successful testing of the equipment led AT&T to announce the creation of the General Mobile Radiotelephone Service in June 1945. With the authorization of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they established base stations.  Cities, where based stations were first established, were Chicago, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Washington DC, Houston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Denver, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, and St. Louis.
  • When the car phone was becoming a useful invention across the USA, Bell System and FCC concluded two forms of telephone service known as HIGHWAY and URBAN. Both services were VHF and used FM.
  • A major impetus for developing mobile wireless technologies was the need during World War II for troops to communicate on the move in the field. The SRC-536 Handie-Talkie was developed by the predecessor to Motorola Corporation and used by the U.S. Army in the war. The Handie-Talkie was a two-way radio that was small enough to be held in one hand and resembled a telephone. Motorola went on to become one of the major manufacturers of cell phones.
  • The story of military investment in technology becoming game-changing commercial products and services has been repeated again and again. Famously, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developed the technologies behind the internet and speech recognition. They also made enabling investments in advanced communications algorithms, processor technology, electronics miniaturization and many other aspects of your phone.
  • The highway service was made to serve the major routes of land and water across the USA at that time, for barges on waterways and trucks on the highway with private vehicles’ exemption. Twelve channels were allocated to highway service with low band VHF. Their mobile equipment received 35 Megacycle and was transmitting on 43 Megacycle frequencies.
  • Urban service was serving subscribers who travel within the radius of an urban center. The service was available to workers in a major city, including doctors, ambulances, delivery trucks, news reporters, and other workers who met the requirements. Urban services operated on six channels initially, receiving on VHF 152 Megacycle and transmitting on 158 Megacycles. The need for separation in receiving and transmitting channels was so that a half-duplex communications circuit could be provided. It allowed the base stations to stay on air when a call is on.
  • The urban system first went on air in St Louis in June 1946, while the highway system first went on air in Wisconsin in August 1946.  Two years after the service was made available, urban service was accessible in 60 cities in the USA and Canada. They had 4000 subscribers at that time, and up to 12,000 calls were handled smoothly every month.
  • Highway service was accessible across 85 cities, having 1900 subscribers, and up to 36,000 calls were handled every month. The service was mostly covering the Midwest and the east side.
  • Bell System later went into business with the police department, renting them equipment for the police radio market. The rental service included maintaining and updating the equipment. Urban service was made available for smaller police departments.
  • Car Phones have improved as well, and its development has led to the invention of mobile phones – first known as cellphones, and their service was limited due to power consumption and signal quality between “cell towers”. The first mobile phone services used small numbers of large radio towers, known as cellular base stations, which meant that all the subscribers in a big city shared one central base station. This was not a recipe for universal mobile phone service.
  • The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated in 1973, nearly three decades after the introduction of the first mobile phone service. It was nearly three decades after that before half the U.S. population had a mobile phone. Today the technology has advanced so significantly that I can be typing and sending this post from my phone!
  • Whether we need to check the weather forecast, instantly message networks of family, friends and followers on social media, consult a variety of apps to help us with our business, or just entertain ourselves with our favorite games, music or videos, it’s fair to say that we all rely on our smartphones to come to our aid at the swipe of a touchscreen. So, will the future of smart phones be different?  Here’s some predictions:
  1. Consumer demand dictates the speed of change. Future cell phone technology will have to reflect and keep up with an increasingly Internet-dependent world, as well as cope with shifting work trends. As such, faster wireless connectivity will be an absolute must.
  2. Videoconferencing, digital collaboration, and telecommuting have become central to our everyday working life, bringing with them a vital need for reliable connectivity and greater bandwidth. The future of smart phones revolves around being able to easily sync home and office experiences, instantly stream video content and unlock the potential of future smart technologies as the Internet of Things dictates.
  3.  Flexible, stretchable display screens are likely to play a role in the future of cell phone technology. While consumers love larger screens, tablets are bulky, and for the sake of convenience, mobile phones need to fit into pockets. Foldable phones may to some extent fulfil this need.
  4. Mobile phone companies have hinted at a wearable future of smartphones – perhaps wrapped around the wrist, or transformed into a GPS-enabled belt clip, or as a pair of glasses (rumors have been increasingly circulating about the release of the Apple Glass, which may or may not fare better than the Google Glass, which ultimately failed a few years ago). Devices, indeed, could soon be totally reshaped according to individual needs. However, whilst the concept of flexible phones has been demonstrated at trade shows and exhibitions, manufacturers have been slow to bring wearable phones to market
  5. Increased uptake of mobile apps related to banking, retail and general commercial functions suggests that the future for cell phone technology lies in a greater adoption of mobile payment technologies, which effectively transform smartphones into credit card and contactless payment devices.
  6. It can be argued that traditional smartphone design has reached its limit – hence the emergence of foldable phones and expandable screens. The long-term future of cellular and mobile technology may well be wearable, but shorter-term, the future of smart phones will be increasingly intertwined with the Internet of Things, 5G-enabled, and supporting ever-more sophisticated apps to handle more and more of our payments and finances.
  7. All of this mobile technology will find its way into your automobile. Likely touchscreen and handsfree.  It’s gonna be something.



Me, too.
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))  
Have fun!!



Understanding the Benefits of Austempering

Austempered ASI 1055 - 768 BLOG

“Austempering is essentially an arrested quench process designed to produce a bainitic microstructure having properties that combine high hardness with toughness, resulting in a resistance to brittle fatigue.” –Daniel Herring, Industrial Heating Magazine.  (Photo of Austempered ASI 1055)

———— ::: ————

For over forty years we here at Kowalski Heat Treating have been recommending austempering as the perfect solution to many of our customer’s PIA (pain in the @#$) jobs. More often than not, it’s the ideal distortion management solution for specialty jobs such as shafts, pins, saw blades, pistons, flat plates, brake discs, clutch parts, large stampings and other sensitive work requiring high hardness, longer-lasting toughness and increased strength.

Our K-Salt Division, the largest rack salt-to-salt facility in the Midwest, enables us to better control the cooling rate of crack sensitive steels and other alloys. Some of the benefits to our customers include:

• Our custom design fixturing team can quickly and efficiently implement new fixtures to maintain your tight tolerances while achieving the optimum heat treating cycle possible.

• Whether custom specialty distortion-free austempering treatments or higher volume marquenching batch work, our system engineers can help reduce tool-up times and fixture down times, giving you an edge in reducing costs and shortening your production run times.

• We can process up to 50,000 pounds per day, including “PIA” rack jobs or parts up to 36” in diameter and/or 40″ long.

• Austempering is ideal for Automotive, Power Transmission, Construction Equipment, Heavy Industry, Truck & Bus, Distortion Sensitive Forgings, ADI Processing, Government & DOD, FCC Licensed Guns/Firearms, Mining & Off Road Parts, Mower Blades, Outdoor Power Equipment, Stampings and Tool & Die jobs.

To better understand the benefits of Austempering, I went back to one of my favorite articles on the subject (originally published in 2005) and contacted “The Heat Treat Doctor” Daniel Herring, from Industrial Heating magazine. We got his “ok” along with the publishers of Industrial Heating magazine to repost part of his article. Read the full article HERE.

Enjoy – (and call me about your pesky PIA Jobs – we’re ready to help!!)





What’s In A Name?

AISI/SAE Steel Designations

Have you ever wondered how plain carbon and alloy grades are named? You can actually know how much carbon and what alloys are in the material by just knowing the designation.

Materials are designated by a four digit number, where

  1. the first digit indicates the main alloying element(s)
  2. the second digit indicates the secondary alloying element(s)
  3. the last two digits of these indicates the carbon content (hundredths of a percent)
    (example, in Grade 1045 the 45 indicates a nominal carbon content of 0.45 wt% C)

Here is the naming system used to determine the steel designations: Enjoy.



Carbon Steels

10XX               Plain carbon (Mn 1.00 max.)
11XX               Resulfurized
12XX               Resulfurized and rephosphorized
15XX               Plain carbon (max Mn range; 1.00-1.65)


Manganese Steels

13XX               Mn 1.75


Nickel Steels

23XX               Ni 3.50
25XX               Ni 5.00


Nickel-Chromium Steels

31XX               Ni 1.25; Cr 0.65 and 0.80
32XX               Ni 1.75; Cr 1.07
33XX               Ni 3.50; Cr 1.50 and 1.57
34XX               Ni 3.00; Cr 0.77


Molybdenum Steels

40XX               Mo 0.20 and 0.25
44XX               Mo 0.40 and 0.25


Chromium-Molybdenum Steels

41XX               Cr 0.50, 0.80, and 0.95;
Mo 0.12, 0.20, 0.25, and 0.30


Nickel-Chromium-Molybdenum Steels

43XX               Ni 1.82; Cr 0.50 and 0.80; Mo 0.25
43BVXX           Ni 1.82; Cr 0.50; Mo 0.12 and 0.25; V 0.03 min
47XX               Ni 1.05; Cr 0.45; Mo 0.20 and 0.35
81XX               Ni 0.30; Cr 0.40; Mo 0.12
86XX               Ni 0.55; Cr 0.50; Mo 0.20
87XX               Ni 0.55; Cr 0.50; Mo 0.25
88XX               Ni 0.55; Cr 0.50; Mo 0.35
93XX               Ni 3.25; Cr 1.20; Mo 0.12
94XX               Ni 0.45; Cr 0.40; Mo 0.12
97XX               Ni 0.55; Cr 0.20; Mo 0.20
98XX               Ni 1.00; Cr 0.80, Mo 0.25


Nickel-Molybdenum Steels

46XX               Ni 0.85 and 1.82; Mo 0.20 and 0.25
48XX               Ni 3.50; Mo 0.25


Chromium Steels

50XX               Cr 0.27, 0.40, 0.50, and 0.65
51XX               Cr 0.80, 0.87, 0.92, 0.95,1.00, and 1.05


Chromium (Bearing) Steels

50XXX             Cr 0.50
51XXX             Cr 1.02 C 1.00 min.
52XXX             Cr 1.45


Chromium-Vanadium Steels

61XX               Cr 0.60, 0.80, and 0.95; V 0.10 and 0.15 min


Tungsten-Chromium Steels

72XX               W 1.75; Cr 0.75


Silicon-Manganese Steels

92XX               Si 1.40 and 2.00; Mn 0.65, 0.82, and 0.85; Cr 0 and 0.65


High-Strength Low-Alloy Steels

9XX                  Various SAE grades


Boron Steels

XXBXX              B denotes boron steel


Leaded Steels

XXLXX              L denotes leaded steel



Win-Win at Heat Treat 2015

Meet up with the Kowalski folks at HEAT TREAT 2015 and maybe win a new iPad Air!
Details below. Hope to see you in Detroit!

KHT October Ad 768


  view history .

A Toast to Charles Strite!

toaster art 768 blog

As you know, heat treating is near and dear to our hearts here at KHT. Everyday we strive to “make history” with our efficiency, consistency, performance and reliability, never taking for granted any one of our customers or customer’s jobs.

Well, nearly 100 years ago, a gentleman named Charles Strite also contributed to heat treating history, by patenting something we’ve come to rely on each morning – the pop-up toaster. (Filed for U.S. patent on May 29, 1919. Patent #1,394,450 was granted on October 18, 1921 for the pop-up bread toaster)

He hated that the toast in the cafeteria of the plant where he worked was always burned because it required a busy human to keep an eye on it. So he took on this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job and figured out a way to automate the toasting process so it wouldn’t burn.

Before the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame or on a toasting fork and held over a fire or kitchen grill. The first electric toaster was actually invented in Scotland in 1893. It was a crude device known as the Eclipse. It still relied on users to end the toasting process and was not very fire safe.

So, while some tried to flip the bread, it was Mr. Strite who invented the automatic pop-up toaster. History shows many innovations since – dual sided toasting, wider slots, auto-drop feeds, and numerous interior and exterior material innovations.

This weekend, make yourself some toast and thank crafty Mr. Strite for tackeling this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job. Oh, and try one of my favorite toppings – honey. Yum!




Tech it out!

certificate 560 email

We are proud to announce our continued ISO 9001 Certification. Each and every one of us at KHT values your business and we hope you understand that this certification represents our dedication to you within every process, procedure and action we take.

Here are the eight main business principles we strive to exceed:

• Customer focus
• Leadership
• Involvement of people
• Process approach
• System approach to management
• Continual improvement
• Factual approach to decision making
• Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

We want you to know that it’s not just about performing tasks to conform to the ISO 9001. It’s about performing every task for the mutual good of our businesses. Yours and ours. Simply put, it’s a culture thing here at KHT. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

— Steve



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.




At Kowalski Heat Treating (, we’re constantly working on behalf of our customers to achieve the proper balance of strength, durability and end performance when processing alloy and tool steels. This heat treatment process consists of heating and cooling these steels to move atoms to an atomic state called martensite.

The atomic arrangement of steels vary depending on the structure or phase it is in. Controlled heat treatment changes the arrangement of these atoms resulting in a desired hardness and mechanical properties specified by our customers. Often we customize this process to enhance tool life and durability.

“Tool steels are typically annealed after rolling or forming to make them suitable for machining and other operations, a process which consists of heating the steel slowly and uniformly to a temperature above the transformation range,” says Dave Lorenz, VP of Operations / Metallurgist at Kowalski Heat Treating. “The transformation range is the temperature at which the steel starts to form austenite, usually around 1350°F (the annealing temperature is 1600-1700°F). A slow cooling rate (25 – 40°F/hour maximum) from this temperature enables the alloys, in combination with the iron atoms, to form uniformly dispersed spheroidized carbides in a matrix of ferrite. This ferrite structure is a body-centered cubic structure (see graphic), typically the condition in which we receive steel tool grades unless they are pre-hardened by the customer.”

“To achieve the next phase, the tool steel is hardened by bringing the material up to its austenitizing temperature, which will range from 1500 – 2250°F depending on the grade,” said Dave. “Upon going through this transformation temperature range, the structure changes again – from ferrite to austenite. This austenite atomic structure is a face-centered cubic (see graphic) – a high temperature phase only formed by heating the tool steel to the appropriate temperature. Austenite is non-magnetic and is slightly denser than ferrite, causing the steel to shrink slightly when at this stage in heat treatment.”

“Upon cooling or quenching from the austenitizing temperature, the steel is transformed once again into a new atomic arrangement called martensite. The steel must be cooled fast enough to keep the dissolved alloy content in the matrix of the steel. The martensite is in the form of a body centered tetragonal structure (see chart) – the desired structure that most of our tool steels are in to achieve high hardness and strength properties. This arrangement of atoms is less dense which results in an overall growth after the quench and subsequent tempers.”

Once completed, the tool steel is shipped back to customers to be machined or sharpened for superior performance.

For more information on tool steel processing, contact Kowalski Heat Treating ( – the leader in distortion sensitive thermal processing, celebrating 40 years of excellence and customer service.