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"Wear It's At"

Volume 1 Issue 3

Wednesday, June 2, 1999


In This Issue

1. Welcome and Thanks
2. Wear Technology ____ Hardness vs. Wear Resistance
3. Marketing _____ Be First In Your Category
4. "Grillin" ____ "To Sear Or Not To Sear" ____ Steak for Two



1. Welcome and Thanks

I want to welcome all who have joined our elite list. This month has seen another surge in registration. Thanks for your support.



2. Wear Technology …. Hardness vs. Wear

This is a very controversial topic and one that is often misunderstood. The controversy revolves around the fact that two different materials can have the same hardness but vastly different wear characteristics. Really it boils down to the hardness test itself. But first lets examine the data. Two materials (1) Tool Steel, (2) Chromium Carbide Hardfacing, can each have the same hardness but vastly differing wear resistance. For example; the tool steel can be hardened to 550BHN. Brinell or (BHN) is a popular Hardness test scale. A Chromium Carbide Alloy as welded also has a hardness of 550BHN. Under a standard abrasion wear test the Chromium Carbide out performs the tool steel by 8 to 1. Although the two alloys have identical hardness values, their respective wear characteristics are miles apart. Why????

Let's look at the hardness test. The Brinell hardness test is a popular hardness test. It essentially indents the material with a hardened ball. The impression it leaves is an indication of the materials hardness. A large impression indicates a soft material, and conversely, a small impression indicates a hard material. It is critical to note that the impression covers thousands of individual grains within the material. The resulting impression is an average hardness of all of these grains. With this in mind let's look at the materials in question and examine their structure for a clue to this discrepancy in wear resistance.

The tool steel consists of millions of uniform grains, each having the same hardness. If one could measure the hardness of a single grain and convert the results to the Brinell scale, it would convert to 550BHN. It follows then that the average hardness, as measured by the Brinell test, of thousands of these grains of tool steel would be 550BHN. Now let's look at the Chromium Carbide Alloy. This material is made up of two types of structures, a very hard structure of Chromium Carbide that sits in a much softer matrix structure. If the hardness of each type of structure could be measured and the results converted to the Brinell scale, the Chromium Carbide would have a hardness value equal to 1200BHN, and the matrix would have a hardness value equal to 150BHN. It then follows that the average hardness, as measured by the Brinell test, would be something more than 150BHN but less than 1200BHN. The actual Brinell hardness would depend upon the relative amounts of each structure. In this case the proportions result in a hardness value of 550BHN.

The above illustrates how two totally different materials can have the same hardness values. But that still doesn't answer the wear resistance question. Well, that's really quiet simple and you have probably already come to the correct conclusion. Simply stated "Harder is Better". The Harder in this case is the Carbide at 1200BHN. These very hard particles will impede the wear of a softer material such as the sand that is used in the abrasion test. There are enough of these hard carbides, despite the presence of the softer matrix to enhance the wear characteristics of this material.

The wear test itself will be the subject of another email newsletter. This subject matter can be explored in more detail on my Web Site under articles.



3. Marketing: ___ Be First In Your Category

The public is very conscious about who is number 1 in any given category. This pertains to every product and service out there. According to Trout and Ries in their book 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, establishing yourself as Number 1 is essential to successful marketing. For example, who was the first person to cross the Atlantic in an Airplane? We all know it was Lindbergh. But who was second? Hardly anyone knows it was Bert Hinkler. Who was the third?? That's a hard one too. The answer may surprise you. It was Amelia Earheart. We know her better as the FIRST WOMAN to cross the Atlantic, and not the third navigator to cross. Amelia Earhart established a category and became the first in that category. That's what we remember. Being number 2 in a category is a hard row to hoe. The important thing is to be FIRST. If you can't be first, create a category to be first in, like Amelia Earheart. Every market has categories to choose from. Think of product attributes and how they differ from the established leader. That's your market. You'll prosper if you follow this recipe. Of course there are other facets to marketing success, and I will attempt to deal with these in depth in later episodes of "Wear It's At" and on my Web Site



4. "Grillin":

Thanks for all the positive comments regarding this section of the last issue. Seems I hit on a winner here. In the spirit of the Grillin' season, I will again pass on a few words of wisdom. Please feel free to submit your recipes and experience. It will be most welcome.


"To Sear or Not to Sear" Great steaks are only as good as they are cooked, and searing steaks prior to cooking is a little controversial. There are really two schools of thought here. The theory is that searing the meat on a high heat prior to cooking it at a lower heat helps keep in the juices. While this is true, some chefs choose to cook close to a moderate fire and allow the heat to both sear and cook all at the same time. I have tried both methods and prefer the latter. I find that the outside meat is not as tough as those steaks that have been seared in the traditional matter. It's all a matter of personal choice however, and the main thing is too trap in the flavor. No matter how it is done, heat intensity is critical. Too hot produces tough steaks, too cool produces little flavor. You'll have to experiment a bit to get hang of what is right for you.

Speaking of fine steaks, here's a recipe for Relish Steak for Two. Great with a Burgundy wine and candlelight.

Prepare the relish:

1/3 cup of drained Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives

2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion

2 teaspoons of minced fresh Oregano leaves

2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Two 3/4 inch thick boneless beef loin or rib-eye steaks, each about 1/2 Lb.

Prepare grill.

Pit olives and coarsely chop. In a bowl sir together olives, onion, oregano, oil, pepper, and salt to taste. Pat steaks dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill steaks on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over the glowing coals about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Serve the steaks topped with the prepared relish. Enjoy!!!


5. Parting Thought

Just want to leave you with a thought until our next meeting:

"Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere."

Dorothy Galyean