The earthmoving industry is under constant pressure to increase productivity. A lot of this productivity relies on the performance of buckets for excavators and front loaders.
As in many industries, tradition can get in the way of innovation. Sometimes, though, there is a breakthrough strong enough to shake up the industry. This is the case with Hardox(R) 500 Tuf wear-resistant steel from the Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB.
Traditionally, bucket design has required different steel grades for different parts of the bucket. Some parts needed to be harder, others tougher. Hardox(R) 500 Tuf turns that tradition on its head. It’s able to fulfill both the hardness and the toughness requirements in one steel.
With a Brinell hardness of 500 HBW, Hardox(R) 500 Tuf gives a bucket high wear resistance and durability with none, or far less, additional wear protection. This gives opportunities to reduce weight and increase the bucket’s loading capacity. The strength and toughness of Hardox(R) 500 Tuf allow it to perform as structural steel, not only in buckets but also in heavy-duty tipper and truck bodies and other steel structures that are exposed to both abrasion and impact.
The benefits of Hardox(R) 500 Tuf wear plate have been utilized in OEM products all over Europe. Sjorring in Denmark and Fronteq in Sweden are two companies that recently launched new bucket lines making the most of the properties of Hardox(R) 500 Tuf.
HYPER buckets from Sjorring 200 kg lighter with Hardox(R) 500 Tuf
Sjorring Maskinfabrik A/S in Denmark has launched HYPER – a new series of streamlined buckets in Hardox(R) 500 Tuf for general earthmoving work.
By upgrading to Hardox 500 Tuf, Sjorring has been able to reduce the weight of the HYPER bucket by 13%. This allows the bucket to take around 200 kg (441 lbs.) more load, depending on the bucket size. Weight and fuel consumption are major topics within this industry. The reduced weight has a big impact for end users.
“Even though the bucket can hold 150 liters more than my previous bucket, it still weighs approximately 200 kg less. The bucket feels very stable, and I experience much less friction and the machine does not feel nearly as strained as before – even equipped with a tilt rotator. And since there are no wear packages on it, I no longer have to deal with material being stuck,” says Mogens Jensen, excavator operator at the Aarsleff Group.
Fronteq buckets in Hardox(R) 500 Tuf break new ground
Excavator buckets from the Swedish OEM Fronteq (formerly Gotene Ufo) break new ground for contractors looking for maximum capacity, volume, and durability in the harshest of environments.
Fronteq was able to reduce the plate thickness by 1 mm (0.394″) by upgrading from Hardox(R) 450 to Hardox(R) 500 Tuf. The extra hardness of 50 HBW for Hardox(R) 500 Tuf compared to Hardox(R) 450 provides a wear margin that ensures long life. A thinner plate makes the bucket lighter – in the case of Fronteq’s new Granit bucket, 8% lighter for higher load capacity. The thinner plate also provides better welding economy.
“When SSAB visited us to present Hardox(R) 500 Tuf, we quickly realized it had great potential for our products,” says Fronteq’s CEO Birgitta Bostrom. “The timing was great since we were just about to develop Granit, a bucket that’s primarily focused on heavy work in quarries. We worked closely with SSAB during its development so that we utilized the material in the best way.”
“The unique thing about Hardox(R) 500 Tuf is that it is so easy to bend even though it’s so hard,” says Magnus Asking, designer at Fronteq. “It gives us completely new opportunities when we design our buckets. It has a higher hardness than Hardox(R) 450 but otherwise has equally good properties for welding and cutting.”
Hardox(R) In My Body takes quality to the next level
Hardox(R) In My Body is a brand program for qualified OEMs who want to level up their equipment. They make certified products with Hardox(R) wear plate according to strict specifications on design and manufacturing. Hardox(R) In My Body is something end users are aware of and ask for when ordering new equipment, whether it’s an excavator bucket, a tipper body, a container, or any other product.
Both Sjorring and Fronteq are members of the Hardox(R) In My Body program, which numbers more than 500 qualified members in 60 countries. As all members of the program, Sjorring and Fronteq have access to extensive technical support from SSAB, covering development as well as production issues.
SSAB is a Nordic and US-based steel company. SSAB offers value added products and services developed in close cooperation with its customers to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. SSAB has employees in over 50 countries. SSAB has production facilities in Sweden, Finland and the US. SSAB is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and has a secondary listing on Nasdaq Helsinki. www.ssab.com. Join us also on social media: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ssab.ab/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ssab/), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ssab), Twitter (https://twitter.com/SSAB_AB) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/ssab).