Bulten, a supplier of fasteners to the automotive industry, has launched a new fastener product family, “BUFOe”, which drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions — and, at the same time, halves energy consumption during the manufacturing process.
Bulten’s ambition is to create and deliver the most innovative and sustainable fastener solutions.
“Our newly launched BUFOe product family is based on the removal of the heat treatment process that we normally use when we manufacture fasteners. This means that we can save up to 50% in energy consumption, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 30%, ”says Henrik Oscarson, Technical Manager at Bulten.
The heating process is the most energy-intensive step in the manufacture of steel fasteners, since a large part of the energy is used to heat ovens and keep them warm, while at the same time heating the goods which must then be hardened.
In the manufacture of BUFOe fasteners, cold forging steel is obtained which has obtained its unique properties through a combination of temperature controlled rolling and alloy elements.
“Together with a carefully calculated deformation hardening, we can manufacture our screws for the strength class 800 to 1000 MPa, completely without heating or cooling. The fasteners are threaded, surface treated and controlled in the same way as our other products.
Henrik Oscarson believes that the biggest challenge for Bulten is to convince the automotive industry of the benefits of the manufacturing process and steel material.
“BUFOe has exactly the same strength requirements as our other product range and corresponds to the strength of traditional hardened screws. The dilemma is that in order to meet the current industry standard, the screws must be of hardened type – no matter how good and strong they are in reality.
However, I believe that it is only a matter of time before our new green product family will have an impact because vehicle operators already today, to a much greater extent, buy components manufactured by climate-smart methods.
Today, all the focus is on the car exhaust. In the future, requirements will be introduced based on the total climate impact of the car during its life cycle. Henrik Oscarson believes that this will result in an increasing demand for products with low CO2 emissions.
“All components, whether a screw or a steering wheel, could in future be carbon dioxide declared. The total carbon dioxide emissions of the products will then become not only an important issue for vehicle manufacturers, but also for industrial companies, in the pursuit of meeting emission requirements and minimizing the global climate impact, concludes Henrik Oscarson.