Tata Steel takes on Hardox with new steel strip product27 November 2019

Tata Steel has launched a high-strength steel suitable for tipper bodies to compete with rival supplier SSAB’s Hardox brand.

Its Valast 450 (the number refers to its Brinell scale hardness, HBW) is said to be 2.5 times as abrasion-resistant as Tata Steel’s S355 structural steel, according to the ASTM G65 wear test.

The material is produced at the company’s hot rolling steel mill in Ijmuiden, Netherlands, and rolled into strip for shipment. In addition to investing in the production process there, it has also developed and installed a heavy gauge uncoiler at its base in South Wales to allow it to be supplied cut to length in coil or sheet form. Gauges between 6mm-8mm (at any thickness) are available in widths up to 2m now, and gauges from 4-5mm between 1.6m-2.0m wide. In addition, trials continue on material from 2-4mm, and from 8mm-12mm.

As a strip product, Valast 450 is said to have a good surface finish, to facilitate plasma cutting, as well as being bendable, with a required bending force of 4.5 at 90 degrees. Its weldability is also said to be good, as the low-alloy steel product has a maximum equivalent carbon content (CEV) of 0.45, and CET of 0.33.

Generally, the price differential for a 450 HBW steel compared with S355MC is roughly 55 - 65% more and the abrasion resistance is at least 2.5 greater. The 450 HBW steel can, on average be approximately 30% thinner and lighter than the S355MC. Calculating payback depends on the equipment design, end use, capacity and service life.

Tata Steel has worked with beta testers in the UK in the crushing and screening markets, and is also working with global equipment OEMs on homologation.

William Dalrymple

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