Customer case

Lighter tipper body in Hardox® 500 Tuf drives up mining productivity

April 12, 2023 6 min read

Dump truck with body in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel travelling along the road.

Case details

Country Brazil
Company Rossetti Equipamentos Rodoviarios Ltda
Industry Trailers and body builders

In mining operations, every cost saving counts. That’s why Rossetti uses Hardox® 500 Tuf and Strenx® steels in its tipper bodies. They get vehicles that weigh less, use less fuel and emit less pollution.

Case details

Country Brazil
Company Rossetti Equipamentos Rodoviarios Ltda
Industry Trailers and body builders

How Rossetti benefits

  • Weight reduction, with a proportional increase in load capacity
  • Body withstands greater loads yet exhibits less deformation and wear, requiring less maintenance
  • Longer service life
  • Improved truck availability
  • Reduced transportation costs

There’s strength in numbers: three companies in partnership – the Brazilian Metallurgy and Mining Company CBMM, Rossetti Equipamentos Rodoviários, a leading transportation equipment manufacturer, and SSAB – and one Hardox® 500 Tuf. Together, they created stronger yet lighter steel tipper bodies that weigh 35% less, deliver 5% cost savings in transportation and achieve a 10% longer service life.

On top of this, the vehicles produced through the partnership exhibit low tire wear and consume less fuel – factors that traditionally can drive up the costs of mining operations. This is good news for meeting some of the tough challenges that the mining industry faces. 

A white dump truck with body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel from SSAB.

Meeting the demand for lighter yet more robust tippers

Mining is a major sector in Brazil, representing about 2.5% of the country’s GDP. The adoption of new technologies has been decisive for addressing the industry’s challenges. Lighter and more resistant truck and tipper bodies are a recurring demand in this market – along with reduced environmental impact, lower maintenance costs, and higher performance from vehicles that need to tirelessly fight abrasion and wear from loading and unloading.

So when CBMM was looking for a lighter product that could allow for an increase in net load when transporting pyrochlore (a mineral used in CBMM’s niobium production), it asked Rossetti in partnership with SSAB to produce a half-round dump body using Hardox® 500 Tuf. The result? A vehicle weighing 35% less, about 5% lower transportation costs, and better energy efficiency thanks to a more sustainable operation emitting fewer pollutants.

How to lose 2,646 kilos (5,833 lbs.)

The 20 cubic meter body was developed for installation in an 8x4 vehicle, mainly to haul the pyrochlore. The initial version weighed 7,426 kg (16,372 lbs.) and was made of conventional carbon steels, with a floor thickness of 8 mm (0.31") and 6 mm (0.24") for the sides of the body. A lightweighting initiative had already been underway when the company first specified 6 mm (0.24") thick Hardox® 450 for the floors and 4 mm (0.16") Hardox® 400 wear plate for the sides, front and rear doors. 

“We now use Hardox® 500 Tuf steel and can reduce the body thicknesses even more: The bottom plate has gone from 6 mm (0.24") to 5 mm (0.20"), the sides and doors from 4 mm (0.16") to 3 mm (0.12"), and the vehicle weight down to 4,780 kg (10,538 lbs.). We also replaced medium-strength structural components like the chassis, made in steel with a yield strength of 300–700 MPa, with high-strength Strenx® 700 steel. This allowed us to eliminate the reinforcements and reduce the thickness of the superstructure,” says Hugo Rosa, maintenance manager at CBMM. The sheet thickness reduction was only possible by specifying Hardox® 500 Tuf, which has superior mechanical strength and impact properties compared with other steels in the 500 Brinell class previously on the market.

“We achieved a significant weight reduction – 2,646 kilos (5,833 lbs.) – since our first project.”

A white dump truck with body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel being loaded with dirt and rocks.
A white dump truck with body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel travelling along a dirt road against a clear blue sky.

Less weight, more payload

With lighter equipment, you can compensate for your use of less steel by adding load. “The 2.5 ton reduction turned into more material hauled, meaning we carry more than 2.5 tons to be processed per trip. The vehicle works 50% of the time fully loaded and 50% empty. When it’s full, we compensate with payload, and when we come back to the loading dock, the vehicle ‘operates’ with 2.5 tons less – giving us a gain of 8% in fuel consumption and 7% in tire consumption. And because we need to cut back on our use of natural resources from a sustainability perspective, we’re committed to improving the energy efficiency of our products and processes,” Hugo Rosa emphasizes.
From an operational perspective for the end user, Rossetti’s use of Hardox® 500 Tuf in these vehicles reduces the fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 195 tons annually. 

A black dump truck body made in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel being loaded with abrasive rocks.

A longer useful life

The 50 Brinell increase in hardness over Hardox® 450 helped to extend service life while providing a more durable tipper body. “It’s more resistant to abrasion and wear because of its higher hardness, and so the service life of this vehicle should increase by around 10%. And when we say this steel has ‘advanced structural properties’, what this means for us is significantly reduced cracking and failure due to fatigue and maintenance, and a 2% increase in equipment availability”, Hugo Rosa says.

5,000 hours, 0 structural failures

Today, CBMM operates a fleet of eight vehicles with bodies made in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel. In a first project, the trucks ran for more than one year and over 5,000 hours, with no record of any structural failures. Another seven vehicles were put into operation in January 2021 at the Araxá mine, the largest niobium mine in the world. The bodies, with a thinner steel gauge, were redesigned in a collaborative process to increase durability and eliminate the need for reinforcements. SSAB has an office in Brazil with a local technical team that helps customers throughout the redesign and upgrade processes.

“We’ve determined that Hardox® 500 Tuf steel is the material that can allow us to develop more aggressively in terms of weight reduction and product redesign,”

- Soave says.

About Rossetti

Founded in 1997, Rossetti Equipamentos Rodoviarios is a leading manufacturer of tipper, semitrailer tipper and van bodies and special products based in Brazil. All products are manufactured under strict technical control, resulting in quality, durability and safety for the transport market. 

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