The technology behind the manufacturing of modern steel has advanced to the extent that steel is cleaner, cheaper, more workable and stronger than ever before.
Whilst ductility and weldability used to come at the expense of tensility and strength, now quenched and tempered steel plate allows for abrasion resistant steel with several fabrication benefits not seen before.
In this article we will outline the history, applications and advantages of quenched and tempered steel plate.
What is quenched and tempered steel plate?
Quenching and tempering is the process that strengthens and hardens metals like steel and other alloys. The process involves extremely heating followed by rapid cooling. Depending on the metal being processed, different methods ranging from water-cooling, oil-cooling, forced air and/or applying inert gases like nitrogen may be used.
Once the material has been quenched into it’s hardest state, the tempering process allows the material to be more ductile and prevents it from being too brittle. Tempering is done through heating quenched materials below their critical point for a period of time and then allowing the metal cool.
The production of quenched and tempered steel plate is a high controlled one. To be able to properly quench and temper steel plate you need to be able to have a tight control over many variables. Therefore, many steel plate distributors, exhaust a lot of time and effort to produce high quality quenched and tempered steel plate.
What are the advantages of quenched and tempered steel plate?
Quenched and tempered steel plate is much stronger than regular unprocessed steel, and yet still highly ductile. If the steel were simply quenched then the steel would be too brittle to use. The tempering process allows for the steel to be work workable, weldable and ductile than regular carbon steel.
The increased toughness of the quenched and tempered steel means that it is more resistant to abrasion and regular wear and tear. Quenched and tempered steel is very useful for machinery and structures where the steel is put under a lot of stress. This type of steel is very popular amongst the mining and construction and industries.
What are some of the applications of quenched and tempered steel plate?
There is great variety in the grades and thicknesses of quenched and tempered steel plate; as a result, it has a variety of different applications in various industries such as mining and construction.
Some of the most common grades of quenched and tempered steel plate are listed below:
- 80 Grade – Very high strength and low alloy structural steel;
- 400 Grade – Hard and abrasion resistant quenched and tempered steel;
- 500 Grade – Medium carbon and highly abrasion resistant steel.
These grades of steel are used in a variety of commercial products and machinery parts. The lower grade steel is used in building bridges, high rise buildings as well as storage tanks and excavator buckets.
Mid grade quenched and tempered steel is used in deflector plates, gear wheels and cutting edges. The highest grade is used in the production of highly durable products and machinery such as chutes, trailers and earthmoving products.
When and where to use quenched and tempered steel plate?
Quenched and tempered steel plate requires significant processing to produce. However the outcome is a highly ductile and durable steel product that is ideal for applications where the product must withstand sever impact and abrasion.
Quenched and tempered steel plate is primarily used in the mining and construction. Dump bodies, bucket component and mining and construction equipment are some of the applications of the type of steel plate. Due to it’s strength, it may also be used to reduce the overall weight of machinery.
There many applications and advantages of using quenched and tempered steel, particularly if you are involved in the mining and construction industries. The high variety of steel grades and thicknesses also makes it a very versatile type of steel to use in everything from structural components to machinery,
Quenching and tempering has been used by ancient cultures in Asia, Europe and Africa. Many methods have evolved throughout the centuries. However, modern technology has vastly improved the quality, and exactness of the process.
The rapid development of steel processing technology means that quenched and tempered steal is cleaner, stronger, more ductile and affordable than ever before. For al these reasons and more, it is a good idea to consider quenched and tempered steel for your next project.