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Protanium® High Torque Steel:
Overview | Quality Assurance | Optimized Heat Treating | Torque/Hardness/Strength
Custom mixed steel, and precise control of the heat treating process are the keys to Bondhus having the highest quality tools on the market. Protanium® high torque steel is much more than just steel and much more than just a name. It’s a specification, it’s a process, and it’s a commitment to a level of quality unmatched by any competitor.
The Bondhus® approach to producing Protanium® Steel is a six step process producing results that consistently blow the competition away in tests conducted for hardness, ductility, quality, wear, consistency, and support.
Bondhus has achieved the greatest strength, hardness and durability of any hex tool manufactured in the world. Only Bondhus uses custom mixed steel. A variety of lower quality steels are used by other manufacturers. Chrome vanadium, 1050 carbon steel, S2, and 8650 are examples of common alloys in use.
- Protanium® Steel is proprietary alloy steel developed and used only by Bondhus. It is the hardest, most ductile, and longest wearing steel that exists in the hex tool industry. Bondhus uses Protanium® Steel on all of its standard tools.
- 8650 is the most common steel alloy in use throughout the U.S. and the Far East. It does not have the hardness or ductility of Protanium® Steel.
- Chrome Vanadium is comparable in quality to 8650, and often used in Europe.
- Chrome Moly is similar to Chrome Vanadium, but is, however, stronger and harder. Because it is fairly expensive, manufacturers generally only use it on their higher quality and higher priced tools like ball head products. They often substitute lower grade alloys for their other tools. Europe and Japan are the primary users.
- S2 is used by only a small number of manufacturers. It is harder than 8650, but it is also less ductile, and far more prone to shattering.
- 1050 carbon steel is a low grade steel that is inferior to those listed above, but is still used by some manufacturers in Europe and Asia.
- Bondhus uses proprietary Protanium® Steel, not common alloys such as 8650.
- The hardness values of up to 60 RC (and above) achieved by Bondhus® tools are unattainable with lower grades of steel.
- Bondhus® tools also achieve the highest degree of ductility and durability in the industry.
Protanium® Steel is not an 8650 grade steel, it is not a form of S2, and it is not a grade used by any other manufacturer. It is created with a formula known only to Bondhus – a formula that is the result of many years of research and improvement of the specification. With the addition of elements like chromium, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, silicone, and vanadium, Bondhus controls more of the elements in the steel mixture, and more precisely controls the heat treating of each batch, than any other competitor in the market.
Education of suppliers
Bondhus personally visits and works extensively with steel mills and drawing mills in the production of Protanium® Steel. Every mill must not only be taught the process, but agree to conform to the entire standard. Meticulous quality control, testing, and documentation are something that only a select few mills are willing to commit to.
Vacuum degassing or Argon bubbling
With the exception of Protanium® Steel, removing hydrogen is done by simply allowing steel to cool slowly. That is not an effective solution, however, because hydrogen forms high pressure pockets within the steel and compromises its integrity.
Vacuum degassing or argon bubbling is the solution to the problem of trapped hydrogen. Cleanliness is also improved, because the removal of alumina has the affect of producing very clean steels.
With so many benefits, why don’t our competitors use the technique? The answer is twofold. Cost is the first factor, and the second is the fact that not all mills are even capable of performing the task.
Bondhus is the only hex tool maker that goes to the extreme of performing this all important step.