Setting standards for mining industry innovation
From that point on over the next few decades, Austin continued to push truck design boundaries with trucks that now have the capabilities to carry over 363 tonnes (400 tons). They have introduced even more ways to achieve lighter vehicles with Hardox 450 and 500 as main plates, continuing to set the standard for tough applications in the mining industry. To further advance Austin’s custom-design offerings, Reynolds and Johnny Greer, Supply Chain Manager-Americas, continued to seek specific improvements in some of the characteristics of a 500 Brinell (HBW) grade, which the steel industry did not offer at the time.
“We discussed our needs with SSAB and knew it would be a difficult product to develop,” Reynolds says. “If it could be achieved, it would allow us to provide miners the solutions they really wanted, which were to either extend the life of the product or further reduce the weight in order to carry more payload. Having that material would allow us to continue moving the mining equipment industry forward.”
To remain at the forefront of the steel industry, SSAB continuously invests in research and development, technical support and joint initiatives for customers to get the most out of its advanced high-strength steels. Close collaboration leads to a deeper understanding of market needs and drives new product initiatives. With Hardox 500 Tuf, SSAB is the steel industry’s first to introduce a 500 Brinell range steel plate with properties on par with structural steel.
“Understanding our customer’s needs across many applications and segments gives us input to develop entirely new products,” explains Tobias Appelkvist, Mining Segment Manager, SSAB Special Steels North America. “Introducing a unique grade like Hardox 500 Tuf is the result of working closely with our customers and demonstrates our commitment to helping them to innovate and advance their industries.”