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What Is Abrasion Resistant Steel?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
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Abrasion resistant steel is a term that describes any steel product which is treated to produce superior resistance to grinding or high velocity abrasion and impact from hard or heavy materials. These steel products are found in applications such as percussive tools, mills and crushers, conveyor chutes, and excavation machine buckets. Abrasion resistant steel is typically quenched and tempered during production and contains carbon and manganese as hardening agents. It is often also formulated to include other specific characteristics such as corrosion resistant stainless grades. Abrasion resistant steel variants typically exhibit Brinell hardness values between 350 and 650.

Steel is a blanket term used to describe a large family of iron alloys, all of which are specifically tailored to posses certain desirable characteristics which include resistance to corrosion, extreme hardness, and abrasion resistance. Abrasion resistant steel is specifically formulated to be tough and hard enough to offer a high degree of resistance to aggressive surface abrasion while remaining malleable enough to weld and form. This is achieved by heating the steel and quenching, or cooling, it rapidly in liquid. Hardening agents such as carbon and manganese are added to the steel during the alloying process in quantities relevant to the intended end product specifications. Other processes may also be applied to the steel during smelting which may add characteristics such as corrosion resistance to stainless grades.

These abrasion resistant steel products are typically used in plate form as liners in applications which feature constant flows of abrasive aggregates and high velocity suspensions across their surfaces. Common industry sector uses for these products include heavy industrial, mining, forestry, and water treatment. In these applications, abrasion resistant steel plates are used as mill and crusher linings, conveyor chute linings, pump impellers, and linings in the buckets of heavy excavation machinery. Percussive tools such as jackhammer bits are also often made from abrasion resistant steel.

Extreme hardness throughout the body of the steel is seldom a feature of abrasion resistant steel products with most varieties being face hardened only. This allows the steel to offer good surface resistance to abrasion while remaining relatively easy to weld and form. A hard surface and a more malleable body also allows the steel to resist impact from hard or heavy aggregates. It also ensures that tools made from these steels do not suffer impact induced fracture failures. The average Brinell hardness values for abrasion resistant steel plates ranges from 350 to 650.

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