Abrasion resistant steel plate

Abrasion resistant steel plate is a plate which is high in carbon and alloyed with a range of different elements such as carbon and boron. Abrasion resistant steel plate is usually produced using a quenching process, which increases the hardness of the steel and forms a unique grain structure.

Abrasion is a process in which the surface of a material is worn away from friction. This happens where surfaces are scratched, scuffed or slowly worn away by contact with different components or materials. In heavy-industry this is a common issue but it can also be an issue for machinery that has high duty cycles or difficult operating conditions. Lubrication of materials can enhance performance, however using abrasion-resistant materials is preferable.

How is abrasion resistant steel plate made?

Abrasion resistant steel plate is made by alloying ingredients such as carbon (C) and iron (Fe) using a range of trace or low level minerals being added to alter the chemical-mechanical properties of the final product.

Initially raw iron is melted in a blast furnace and then carbon is added. Whether or not additional elements such as nickel or silicon are added is dependent on the area of application. The level of carbon present in abrasion resistant steel plate is usually between 0.18-0.30%, characterizing them as low-to-medium carbon steels.

When this reaches the desired composition, it is formed and cut into plates. Abrasion resistant steel plates are not suited to tempering and quenching because heat treatment can reduce the material’s strength and wear-resistance.

Using Abrasion Resistant Steel Plate in Industry

Abrasion resistant steel plate is extremely hard and strong. Hardness is a crucial attribute of abrasion-resistant steel plate, however high hardness steels are often more brittle. Abrasion resistant steel plate also needs to be strong and so a careful balance must be struck. To do this, the alloy’s chemical composition must be strictly controlled.

Abrasion resistant (AR) steel plate is a high-carbon alloy steel plate. This means that AR is harder due to the addition of carbon, and formable and weather resistant due to added alloys.

Carbon added during the formation of the steel plate substantially increases toughness and hardness, but reduces strength. Therefore, AR plate is used in applications where abrasions and wear and tear are the main causes of failure, such as industrial manufacturing, mining, construction and material handling. AR plate is not ideal for structural construction uses like support beams in bridges or buildings.

Some common applications where AR steel is used to help resist material wear and tear include:

  • Conveyors
  • Buckets
  • Dump liners
  • Construction attachments, such as those used on bulldozers and excavators
  • Grates
  • Chutes
  • Hoppers

Abrasion-resistant steel plate comes in a range of varieties which all have an exact hardness value on the Brinell scale. Other varieties of steel are graded by toughness and tensile strength, however hardness is critical to stop the impact of abrasion.

Some of the applications abrasion resistant steel plate is used in are:

  • Mining industry machinery
  • Industrial hoppers, funnels and feeders
  • Platform structures
  • Heavy wear platforms
  • Earth moving machinery