Operations in tough working environments require robust industrial components and equipment that is able to withstand demanding work loads such as extreme vibration, compression and tension. High-yield strength steel is designed to work under intense load stresses without leading to equipment failure, while providing maximum strength at a lighter weight.
Strenx performance steel from SSAB aims to provide exceptional performance under extreme loads, ensuring longer-lasting and stronger equipment.
Strenx performance steel is used in a range of industries, such as agriculture, heavy transport, lifting and construction, to develop vehicles that are stronger yet lighter. High-strength steel grades are said to outperform mild steel and other steel grades below 700 MPa, in the toughest environments.
Transportation companies constantly strive to find ways to reduce costs and use more fuel-efficient vehicles. By using higher strength steel instead of conventional steel, the weight of vehicle parts can be drastically reduced, leading to lower energy required to power the vehicle, reduced fuel consumption and even lower carbon dioxide emissions, while also increasing the payload.
Steel with yield strengths above 550 MPa, referred to as advanced high-strength steel (AHSS), is an innovative type of steel with carefully selected chemical compositions resulting from precisely controlled heating and cooling processes. The objective of using AHSS is to deliver the right balance of strength and toughness. Referred to as the “steel of the future”, AHSS is engineered to meet the challenges of current and future vehicles.
The benefits of high yield strength steel
Strenx 700 steel is a structural-grade steel with a minimum yield strength of 650 MPa to 700 MPa, depending on the thickness. It has been successfully used in trucks and trailers, cranes and hoists, agricultural equipment and in other applications that need stronger yet lighter structural sections.
When considering the costs of purchasing and fabricating steel for equipment, the price per ton of different steel grades may not reflect an accurate assessment of total costs. With Strenx 700 and higher grades, the sheet thickness can be reduced, leading to less steel being used, with the potential of gaining substantial reductions in both material and processing costs. Using thinner steel gauges in a workshop also contributes to reduced cutting and welding costs. During welding, the volumes of deposited weld material can be reduced leading to a reduction in weld consumables and weld times.
In addition, steel with a yield strength of 700 MPa can be stressed much higher than an S355 steel, which means that thinner dimensions can be used at the same load levels, or the load level can be higher for the same dimensions. Overall, a higher yield strength improves both production and performance.
Additional benefits of high yield strength steel include:
- Higher lorry payloads and reduced number of trips, boosting productivity
- Cranes, booms and lifting equipment can reach further and higher, while also lifting heavier loads
- Lighter structure leads to potential savings on fuel consumption
- Using less steel is more environment-friendly
- Maximum vehicle weight restrictions on roads can be more easily met
SSAB´s Strenx high-strength steel is available in a variety of grades and in thicknesses from 0.7 mm to 160 mm. The company asserts that its high-strength steels have excellent formability and weldability, allowing for easy workshop fabrication.
The Trailmax experience
South African trailer manufacturer Trailmax explains that it uses Strenx performance steel as part of its overall strategy to keep pace with the challenges of a dynamic industry, adapting to changes in the export market, the economy and various macro factors that impact the transport business.
Trailmax performed extensive testing on SSAB’s Strenx product before commencing production and reported the following results after adopting the stronger yet lighter steel:
- An innovative design was achieved
- Up to 30% less trailer weight
- Higher payloads, quicker to unload
- 50% longer service-life than trailers made using mild steel
- Improved safety
Trailmax is also an accredited member of the “My Inner Strenx” programme and, according to the company, its membership has helped it to gain more international exposure and provides priority access to SSAB technical expertise. In addition, Trailmax asserts that displaying the “My Inner Strenx” logo on its trailers represents a mark of quality and value for money, visible to its customers.
SSAB outlines that the demands faced by modern heavy road vehicles and equipment include both transport and cost efficiencies and asserts that it is at the forefront of the evolution in high-strength steel design, helping companies to upgrade steel and improve equipment design, without compromising quality or safety, harnessing the power of innovative AHSS steels such as Strenx to produce stronger, lighter vehicles with reduced overall costs.