Sporty roadsters and family station wagons alike need robust hose couplings to get into gear. These couplings hold the lines firmly together when gas, pressurized air, and cooling water speed through the engine. They must be absolutely spillproof, which is why “such a tube connector poses a considerable challenge to our materials suppliers,” says Martin Ohneberg, Managing Director of HENN GmbH & Co KG.
The small connection technology provider based in the Austrian state of Voralberg is a regular customer of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. “We may be a small customer for ThyssenKrupp, but we are a highly innovative one,” says Ohneberg with pride. “We have jointly developed several products for the global market.”
The patented tube connectors are very easy to process. While traditional products from competitors require a lot of time when it comes to assembly, HENN connectors can be crimped with the hose material in a matter of seconds, saving both time and money. One feature of the innovation: wafer-thin steel sheet with a durable coating.
“The material from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is much more resilient than any other product we’ve seen in the market,” confirms Ohneberg. “We need this material to be able to guarantee our superior quality level.” After all, the component must handle pressures up to 6 bar, which corresponds to the brewing pressure of a conventional espresso machine. Moreover, it must be corrosion-resistant and leakproof from a freezing minus 40 degrees Celsius up to a blistering 180+ degrees.
Extreme corrosion protection
The secret to how the 0.35-mm thin steel plate can meet these extreme requirements rests with its special protective coating. An ultrathin 0.05-mm GALFAN® coating offers HENN products this extreme level of corrosion resistance.
HENN produced 30 million plug connectors for the global market in 2013. This success of the company and its 43 employees is also owing to the flexibility of its partners. “The partnership with ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe couldn’t be better,” concludes Ohneberg.