Thinking from a different perspective to find a new solution is in itself the definition of good engineering. So when Tata Steel decided to enter the abrasion resistant (AR) steel market, it wanted to apply the same innovative thinking to solving existing customer problems. The end result was Valast® 450, a strip-rolled wear steel that helps improve performance and reduce wastage.
As the name suggests, Valast 450 has a Brinell hardness rating of 450 and, being a strip product manufactured on Tata Steel hot strip mill in IJmiuiden, it can be produced in thicknesses as low as 2.0mm. Tata Steel has also developed softer more widely used Brinell hardness 400 steel, Valast 400, which extends the portfolio to cover most of customer abrasion strip steel needs.
As already mentioned, Valast is a strip product. Due to manufacturing process it has some advantages to plate material which is more commonly used in abrasion resistant steels such as surface quality. The additional reheating needed for the quench and temper process in plate production can create considerable build-up of oxidation called the scale jacket. When this scale jacket is removed in shot blasting, it can create dents and scratches to the surface, which need repairs. In contrast, the single reheating used in strip production creates a lighter scale jacket, which is more easily removed. This results in a better surface quality, which requires less treatment and is longer-lasting.
There are differences also in flatness, thickness tolerance and product consistency. In plate production there is a small difference in thickness between the center and edges. Therefore, the thickness tolerance, flatness and product consistency can vary across the plate, with each plate also likely to be slightly different. Because a single Valast coil can be up to 1200m long, it isn’t impacted in the same way. There is still a variance at the first and last few metres of the strip. These sections can be removed when the steel is decoiled, leaving more than 95% of perfectly consistent AR steel.
Typically, steel plate can be offered in greater thicknesses as it doesn’t need to be coiled in the same way that strip does. However, Valast is still available in gauges of up to 12 mm, which makes it suitable for many applications. Strip steel also tends to be offered in narrower widths than plate, but Valast is available up to 2.0m wide, to give customers greater design flexibility.
In Finland and Baltics Valast is sold by Tata Steel Naantali service centre. Please contact our sales to find out more.
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