What is Wear Resistant Steel?

What is wear-resistant steel?

To make steel more resistant to wear, it can be hardened by adding alloying elements. Wear-resistant steel generally has a higher carbon content and also contains manganese, chromium, nickel, vanadium and boron.

These alloying elements not only increase hardness but also toughness. To a limited extent, these elements (such as chromium & nickel) also have a positive effect on corrosion resistance. In the case of wear-resistant steel grades, however, this is not the main reason for the addition of these elements.

In the production of extremely hard steel grades, other material properties must also be taken into account.

It is very important to note that steels become more and more brittle with increasing hardness and thus become more susceptible to breakage or cracking. Only by using the right combination of alloying elements can this be partially prevented.

Wear-resistant steel is easy to bend and machine, and welding can also be done with the right precautions.

wear resistant steel

Steels with a higher manganese content harden by cold forming. During production, the wear-resistant layer can still be easily (mechanically) processed but is further hardened during use. This effect is called “Cold Hardening or Strain Hardening”.

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Examples of wear-resistant steel grades

As a material, wear-resistant steel is not specifically standardized, as is the case, for example, with structural steel.

The different rolling mills therefore use their own “tradename wear resistant materials”, each with its own advantages and disadvantages as well as its own brand name.

Some of these wear resistant steel grades with their brand names and associated manufacturers are:

A large proportion of wear-resistant sheets are identified by the brand name followed by a number. This number, often 400, 450 or 500, is often used to indicate hardness in hardness Brinell. The hardness of wear-resistant sheet material can be up to HB600.

Uses of Wear Resistant Steel

Wear resistant steel is low-alloy, hardened steel. Wear resistant steel can be welded, bent, drilled, and cut.

Wear plates are not intended for further heat treatments. In most applications, the wear resistance increases with increasing hardness, which places higher demands on processing machines and tools in machining.

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Wear-resistant materials are used where the various forms of wear play a major role. Depending on the type of wear, a certain type of material can be used.

Wear-resistant parts often find their application in products such as:

  • Containers, garbage trucks, tippers
  • Gripper arms, excavator buckets, wear knives and plates
  • Shredders, grinders and screens
  • Conveying systems, screening systems, bunker walls and bunkers
  • Asphalt plants, recycling plants, concrete plants, mining and coal handling
  • Walls of storage rooms for abrasive materials such as sand, gravel, etc.

Risk of wrong wear resistant steel selection

If wear resistant steel materials are selected incorrectly for use for equipment, there are various risks:

  • Cracks in the material
  • Material breakage
  • The material wears out much faster and needs to be replaced prematurely

To mitigate these risks, it is important to use the right grade of the wear resistant steel.


What is the most wear resistant steel?

The most resistant steels are with the higher hardness such as AR500, Hardox 600, ESB600HB, etc. If you require highest wear resistant, choose the steel that possess highest material hardness.

How do you make steel wear resistant?

To make steel more resistant to wear, it can be hardened by adding alloying elements. Wear-resistant steel generally has a higher carbon content and also contains manganese, chromium, nickel, vanadium and boron.

Common wear resistant steel grades

Most commonly used wear resistant steel grades are:
1. Hardox wear resistant plate (SSAB), e.g., Hardox 400, 450, 500 & 600.
2. Abrasion Resista steel, e.g., AR400, AR450, AR500.
3. Quard (NLMK), e.g., Quard 400, 450, 500 & 600.
4. ESB, e.g, ESB 300HB, 400HB, 450HB, 500HB, 550HB, 600HB

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