Wear plates meet challenges of acid environments

Image of Hardox HiAce from SSAB

Hardox HiAce from SSAB

13th August 2022


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The use of steel in recycling industries faces a particular set of challenges because of the highly acidic environment in which it is used.  Municipal solid waste, or garbage, creates a low pH acidic environment that accelerates wear in garbage truck bodies and refuse containers. Other conditions that have the same effect are the transportation of wood chips and chemicals such as sulfates and chlorides.

Hardox HiAce has been developed to withstand these severe conditions by drastically slowing down the oxidation process, allowing the full hardness of the material to counteract wear. At low pH levels, the wear mechanism is different to that in a more pH-neutral environment, as the acidity oxidizes the steel’s surface, making it more prone to wear even if the body or container is made with a hard material.

In a regular environment, Hardox HiAce is designed to perform the same as a 450 HBW steel, but in conditions with lower pH levels, the equipment service life is said to be up to 3 times longer compared to a 400 HBW steel.

Tough, durable characteristics make the wear plates particularly suitable for use as a  product range for use as a structural material in garbage trucks, recycling containers, tipper and dump bodies and other heavy-duty equipment.

Hardox HiAce also works in freezing conditions, with a stated guaranteed impact energy of 27 J at -20 °C. It is available in thicknesses of 4 mm to 25.4 mm. Hardox HiAce has similar mechanical properties as Hardox 450 and can be processed by the same kind of machinery used for other Hardox grades.

The increased wear resistance in garbage trucks and other equipment allows for the use of thinner plate without compromising service life. Thinner steel plate means more payload when fully loaded, and when travelling empty, a lower-weight truck saves on fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

The product range is available from Nordic and US-based steel company SSAB.



John Thompson
John Thompson

John Thompson, the leader in energy and environmental solutions through value engineering and innovation, provides the following: design, engineer,...


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