Early adopters give feedback on Hardox 500 Tuf, SSAB’s latest hard and tough wear steel
For more than a year SSAB customers in different parts of the world have been thoroughly testing the Hardox 500 Tuf on tippers, buckets, liners, containers and wear parts of all kinds.
The Hardox 500 Tuf developed by SSAB combines the hardness of Hardox 500 with the toughness of the Hardox 450, delivering high strength, extreme hardness and guaranteed toughness in one and the same wear plate. Typical working conditions include loading and unloading of heavy and sharp rocks in quarries and mines, handling large and heavy steel scrap, and in demolition when pieces of concrete with rebar are loaded or dropped into tippers.
Manufacturers using Hardox 500 Tuf can choose to increase wear life or increase payload, or both. Using a thinner plate in Hardox 500 Tuf can easily give 10–15% greater load capacity for a dumper or container. Staying with the same thickness on the other hand will give a 30% longer service life or more, depending on the abrasive material. In addition to high wear resistance, Hardox 500 Tuf is tough enough to perform as a structural wear steel. This offers new opportunities to reduce or exclude the supporting structures. Hardox 500 Tuf can be processed with the same kind of machinery used for other Hardox grades. Bendability recommendations are similar to those for Hardox 450.
For more than a year SSAB customers in different parts of the world have been thoroughly testing the Hardox 500 Tuf on tippers, buckets, liners, containers and wear parts of all kinds. Some of the results they have reported are as follows: up to two times the service life compared with Hardox 400; high dent and crack resistance when hit by sharp, heavy objects and material; high performance in tough or freezing conditions; tight dimensional tolerances; and toughness to perform as a structural material.
Jenny Brandberg Hurtig, product manager, Hardox wear plate, SSAB, said: “The feedback we are getting is amazing. Hardox 500 Tuf will be the new standard for premium heavy-duty tipper bodies, containers and buckets.”
UK-based tipper body manufacturer Thompsons has six bodies made with Hardox 500 Tuf for real-life testing. Thompsons has also introduced Hardox 500 Tuf on its lighter bodies, for example the newly designed tipper body Loadmaster X-lite.
Neil Griffin, engineering manager, Thompsons UK, said: “The increased abrasion resistance of Hardox 500 Tuf allows us to use a thinner plate and keep the same excellent service life, thereby reducing the body’s weight by more than 100kg. The payload can of course increase by the same amount.”
Austrialia-based Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE), which provides transport equipment for mining, construction and agricultural industries, has been a long-time customer of Hardox 450. The company has introduced Hardox 500 Tuf on almost its entire product line and manufactures its trailers and other transport equipment with the same thickness as for Hardox 450. The increase in hardness improves the abrasion resistance, and in many cases it translates to double the service life. Alternatively, by reducing the thickness of the plates in Hardox 500 Tuf, customers get equipment that is lighter and can take more payload without sacrificing the wear life.
Tony Michaelas, business development manager, Transbeam, a sister company of BRE, said: “We use Hardox 500 Tuf to make our trailer bodies, bucket wear strips and as a wear liner for milling plant hoppers. Welding, cutting, machining and bending haven’t given us any surprises. It’s a clean and stable product with excellent uniformity from plate to plate. Not only is it consistent, the dimensional tolerances of Hardox plates are way narrower than any other materials.”
Argentina-based heavy-duty tipper producer Industrias Baco adopted Hardox 500 Tuf to differentiate itself from its competitors. Industrias Baco changed the design of its tipper to distinguish it from the models made with Hardox 450. The new tipper made with Hardox 500 Tuf has a conical design for the sides. This makes unloading easier, with materials such as clay or sand in particular flowing more freely than with a standard rectangular design.
Nicolas Cartasegna, operations manager, Industrias Baco, said: “The new tippers in Hardox 500 Tuf share the same thickness, 6mm, as the models with Hardox 450. This will give an increase in service life of about 30%. For customers that previously used tippers in 8mm Hardox 450, the new tipper in 6mm Hardox 500 Tuf weighs 700kg less and gives the same service life. We have already delivered around 60 tippers made with Hardox 500 Tuf and the potential looks great. Our goal is to upgrade to Hardox 500 Tuf for all our tippers.”
US-based Buffalo Trailers upgraded to Hardox 500 Tuf to meet changing customer requirements.
Olmedo Saenz, Buffalo Trailers, said: “We were surprised to see that Hardox 500 Tuf behaves so similarly to Hardox 450 while cutting and welding. This allows for a smooth transition to Hardox 500 Tuf. By using thinner dimensions of Hardox 500 Tuf, we could reduce the weight of trailers and take more payload without sacrificing performance or durability. Thus, Hardox 450 wear plate with 6.4mm thickness was replaced by 4.8mm Hardox 500 Tuf.”
Sweden-based Zetterbergs which manufactures truck dumper bodies, tipper trailers, swap flatbeds and refuse collection superstructures, has manufactured a fourth-generation dumper called ZD4 by using Hardox 500 Tuf.
Roberth Löfstedt, Zetterbergs, said: “This new material has allowed for a 20% or 650 kg reduction in tare weight. The ZD4 features a new, streamlined design in which the base, sides and front wall form a single functional unit for extra high performance. We met the weight, design and height goals. With a build height of 340mm, it is the lowest on the market.”
Another Sweden-based company TMCC, which manufactures dumpers for tipper trailers, load changers, speed locks, rotortilts and other add-on equipment for trucks and excavators, has made a roll-off container and buckets for excavators with Hardox 500 Tuf.
The floor of TMCC’s roll-off container is made of Hardox 500 Tuf in 5mm thickness instead of the previous 6mm Hardox 450. The reduced thickness translates to a weight reduction of about 125kg, which allows for a similar increase in load capacity. TMCC also builds buckets that can take loads up to 10m3. By using Hardox 500 Tuf and designing the buckets differently, they are up to 30% lighter. One reason is that extra wear materials can be reduced or eliminated entirely due to the higher hardness of Hardox 500 Tuf.