Trailer Magazine

Going under cover

  • From the May 2018 issue.
Going under cover

The Hardox 450 from Steel Producer, SSAB, facilitates a leap forward in tipper technology, offering an effective product in the use of heavy equipment for moving abrasive materials.

Mindful of reducing operational costs, the manufacturers of tipper bodies using the Hardox wear plate have introduced a stronger tipper body that is much lighter than a conventional one. Made from thinner material and requiring fewer parts, Hardox 450 reduces production costs in comparison to tippers manufactured with mild steel.

Expensive secondary costs will likely be reduced by decreases in the number of pre-manufactured pieces and a reduction in manufacturing costs associated with welding, bending and the cutting of the steel components.

As fewer parts are needed, the Hardox wear plate makes it possible to remove stiffeners on the side of the body and in the framework under the floor on tippers. Although stiffeners often give an appearance of robustness, bodies made of Hardox wear plate don’t require them as the function of the body is based on the flexibility of the design which is allowable due to the high yield strength of the material. Lack of stiffeners also makes the bodies more fuel efficient due to the improved aerodynamics.

In this way, SSAB has eschewed the conventional approach of building tippers. As an example, some older tipper body models retain up to 75 parts whereas the Hardox 450 high-performance tipper drastically reduces the amount of parts to just 13.

SSAB has made optimum use of the steel’s properties. The wear plate is shock absorbent and the wear resistance is typically three times that of mild steel. Extensive testing, in which the Hardox 450 handles great impacts without any permanent deformation, has confirmed that a flexible tipper body, according to Juha Erkkilä, Technical Development Manager, SSAB Special Steels. Structure improves, he says, resistance to cracking and reduces the depth and extent of depressions.

“Among the Australian tipper body manufacturers the benefits of Hardox have been well realised and members of Hardox in my body program can be found all around Australia” says Erkkilä. “The benefits are clear. High strength steel bodies are versatile and tare weights are, in some cases, closing down to aluminium bodies because Hardox is being produced down to 0.7 mm thickness. Lots of bodies are being made using Hardox 450 in thicknesses down to 2.5 mm.”

SSAB provides technical support to help reduce the weight of the equipment since at times thickness reduction is combined with changes in design and manufacturing, all of which need to be considered. Lowering tare weights is paramount to helping increase payload. The thinner the material, the less welding is needed.

“If material thicknesses is halved,” Erkkilä says, “the throat thickness of the fillet welds are halved which means only 25 per cent of the original weld volume is needed.”

Carefully monitored, the production of Hardox wear plate by SSAB has resulted in an ultimate combination of toughness and hardness. As tippers transport heavy equipment and a multitude of abrasive materials they need to maximise the durability in order to meet the demands of the toughest working conditions. For Hardox wear plate this means getting stronger, lighter and more sustainable.

While increasing its payload, the Hardox 450 is expected to give the body more than twice the service life, which is also good news for the environment. This will cut emissions by bringing down the number of trucks on the road and reducing the fuel consumption when the truck is driving empty. According to Erkkilä it is vital to reduce the weight of the equipment since the usage phase of the moving equipment is by far the biggest contributor to the environmental emissions and costs of the equipment.

“Typically, more than 90 per cent of the CO2 footprint for vehicles is formed during the usage face of the equipment,” Erkkilä says. “As an example, a producer of Hardox metal scrap bins was able to reduce the weight of the equipment by 2100 kg by upgrading from mild steel. This reduced the CO2 footprint of the truck by 105 tons during its life time and reduced the fuel consumption by almost 34 000 litres.”

Fast Fact
The Hardox In My Body (HIMB) program features SSAB steel products that provide exceptional wear resistance and unsurpassed impact toughness to add value and durability to commercial road transport equipment. Leading manufacturers whose products meet SSAB’s quality requirements are granted licenses to put the Hardox In My Body logo on their products. These companies have extensive knowledge of steel properties and they fully understand the advantages of Hardox products and continuously apply this knowledge to their product development.

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