Customer case

CarWil transforms mobile mining trucks and equipment with Hardox® steel in higher grades

March 12, 2021 6 min read

Case details

Country United States
Company CarWil
Industry Industrial production products

Every tough mining operation faces the same innovation challenge: “We don’t have time for that right now.” When it comes to optimizing proven mining equipment, CarWil specializes in breaking the barrier to quickly put the right steel in the right place and deliver profitable efficiency gains.

Mining operations fundamentally succeed or fail on their ability to process material as efficiently as possible. When profitability hinges on mammoth mining trucks hauling 39,000 tonnes (43,000 tons) of earth a day, anything to make them lighter and last longer gets attention. The incentive to innovate, especially for gold mines in the U.S., is directly tied to efficiency. With a recovery ratio of 76 tonnes (84 tons) of raw material to 2.8 grams (1 ounce) of precious metal, even the smallest improvement means more pay dirt.

For designers at CarWil, a Hardox® Wearparts center in Winnemucca, Nevada, the process begins right in the field where real problems cause real pain. For them, it’s critical to conduct first-hand investigations alongside mill mechanics, welders, operations staff members and onsite engineers to get the whole story before offering just any wear steel solution. They focus on the their customer’s specific needs and use innovative steel, like Hardox® 550 and Hardox® 500 Tuf, to get the job done right.

“We pride ourselves on being able to truly add value to our customers’ businesses. This can be an uphill battle, let me tell you,” explains Shane Havens, CarWil General Manager. “Our clients are under extreme pressure every day just to keep the trucks rolling, which makes it difficult for them to break away for us to uncover what’s adding pain and do our job properly.”

A mix of high grades of Hardox® 500, Hardox® 550 and Hardox® 500 Tuf in the wear liner plate of a mining truck.

The advantages of mixing high grades of Hardox® 500, Hardox® 550 and Hardox® 500 Tuf into a liner package design are achieving maximum efficiency for wear life, guaranteed impact toughness and a lower overall vehicle weight.

Cuts weight of liner plate package by 20%

For the most part, mines in the western United States rely on truck body liner plates produced using a commercially available 400- or 450-grade abrasion resistant (AR) steel. For the people in charge, who battle the continuous cycle of maintenance and rebuilds, every liner plate and replacement is seen as an inevitable downtime interruption and unavoidable cost.

“To overcome the cycle, some will trial different steel types and grades to see which works best for their ore material. Others stick with what they know has been successful. While this might be the best thing at the moment, it isn’t the best thing for the future,” explains Havens. “The world is evolving all around us. There are new technologies spawning out of thin air every day. Most customers don’t have the time or desire to become wear steel experts, and they simply need to get something that works, now. That’s where they can rely on our knowledge of higher quality steel grades, especially across the range of Hardox® wear plate.”

Mining truck body liner plates offer optimization opportunity

Designing a liner plate package for the long haul using Hardox® steel delivers longer wear life and requires fewer replacements over time. It doesn’t take long for big-time mines to see that the long-term investments pay off higher in the long run.

The advantage that mixing grades of Hardox® 500, Hardox® 550 and Hardox® 500 Tuf into the strategic design of a liner package is maximum efficiency for wear life, impact toughness and less weight. It’s not enough to pick a steel and run with it because every application is unique. By upgrading from lower-performing material to a specifically designed mix of consistently higher performing steels in critical wear places, CarWil offers a tailored liner package long on value and short on downtime.

“Our engineering team works with engineers at SSAB’s Knowledge Service Center to produce cutting edge solutions. For this project, we were able to offer a compelling design that reduced the body’s liner package weight by about 20% and increased the overall wear life at least two times,” says Havens.

Hardox® 500 Tuf is the next generation of abrasion resistant wear plate steel.

Pinpointing destructive wear in precise places on mining truck bodies

Upgrading from standard thickness AR steel plate to thinner applications of Hardox® wear plate allows CarWil to design liner packages that put the highest wear resistance in just the right places. For example, CarWil now uses 12.7 mm (half-inch) thick Hardox® 500 Tuf to tackle the bulk of material wear in the body liner’s main flooring sections, replacing a 16 mm (5/8 inch) thick application of standard AR. However, for the tail section, where the most damaging sliding wear occurs, they specified an even tougher plate with 12.7 mm (half-inch) Hardox® 550. These major structural changes more than doubled the liner’s wear life and reduced the weight by 20%. This translates into a higher capacity potential and lower fuel costs per trip.

Environmental and economic advantages over underperforming alternatives

Heavy hauler operators often choose less expensive abrasion resistant grades or other alternatives for their liners in an attempt to reap short-term savings. However, they are unaware of the true overall costs in terms of the environment and overall investment.

When liners are fabricated with thinner, higher performing abrasion resistant steel like Hardox® 500, Hardox® 500 Tuf and Hardox® 550, they are lighter, which translates into higher capacity and load optimization opportunities. All of this brings higher efficiency. On one hand, there is higher return-on-investment with reduced annual liner rebuilds and on the other hand, there is improved environmental impact from consuming less fuel.

“Our vision at SSAB is a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. These liners are an example of how we work to reach that goal,” says Tobias Appelkvist, Mining Segment Manager, North America. “Partners in our Hardox® Wearparts network look solve everyday problems. They consistently push the envelope and think outside the box to find creative ways to use our high-end products.”

Two men agree that a huge truck liner will last longer with high grades of Hardox® wear plate.

Tobias Appelkvist and Shane Havens agree a huge mining truck lined with Hardox® wear liner plate will last longer.

Easy-to-implement workshop properties

When it comes to comparing weldability and formability of grades like Hardox® 500 Tuf with Hardox® 450, the properties are similar in welding, forming and cutting processes. It can save time in the workshop, use less weld material and is suitable for use with standard equipment. Proper designs with the processes in mind can also lead to significant improvements in terms of service life and payload capacities. For such a highly specialized consultation, CarWil works directly with SSAB engineers.

“Hardox® 500 Tuf allows a safe and very easy upgrade, delivering the best of both worlds - increased service life increase and friendly workshop properties,” says Leonardo Vieira, Technical Development Manager, SSAB Special Steels. “With access to the best practices used in mining trucks and applications worldwide, we can recommend local design solutions with the highest level of success. We understand the critical factors in both our steel and a demanding application to support the customer during the upgrade process.”

Workshop properties for Hardox® wear plate higher grades are user friendly and similar to that of grades like Hardox 450.

Hardox® wear plate features easy-to-implement workshop properties for all types of processes.

Hardox® WearCalc mobile app defines upgrade benefits

To assist companies in calculating overall potential savings, service life improvements and weight reductions, SSAB’s proprietary wear calculation mobile app, Hardox® WearCalc, reports specific comparisons.

For example, to find the potential increase in service life when evaluating gold ore, use sliding wear parameters and compare Hardox® 400 at 16 mm (.63 inch) thick to Hardox® 550 at 12.7 mm (half-inch) thick. The app results show the reduced thickness to 12.7 mm (half-inch) a 20% reduction, would double the service life, an increase from 12,000 hours (2 years) to 24,000 (4 years).

“When it comes to higher grades like Hardox® 550, upgrades will deliver extra wear life. When the material is specified for the most critical points, following SSAB processing recommendations, we can achieve its maximum performance.” says Vieira.

For more details, refer to the graphic showing the calculation results, which also can be generated from within the Hardox® WearCalc mobile app, available for download in the Apple and Google Play online app stores.

SSAB’s proprietary WearCalc mobile app projects wear life possibilities and calculates weight savings from upgrading to a higher grade like Hardox® 550.

A screenshot of the Hardox WearCalc app, which helps companies calculate potential savings, service life improvements and weight reductions when using Hardox® wear steel.

Expertise equals an evolution in efficiency

As part of the Winnemucca mining community for 25 years, CarWil’s team understands what motivates decisions to change a time-tested, standard operating procedure. It all comes down to the bottom line. Keeping operations up and running efficiently is the hallmark of a Hardox® Wearparts center, where knowing an application inside and out allows their workforce to properly implement steel solutions and put time- and money-saving processes into place.

“When it comes to liner packages and field installations, we know what needs to be done. With our design and the full range of Hardox® wear plate grades at our fingertips, we can now ensure a body liner is 20% lighter and lasts 2 times longer,” says Havens. “That means one less liner replacement over the lifespan of a heavy hauler in an aggressive mining operation or a $75,000 cycle savings. That’s the stuff that gets a general manager’s attention.”

Ready to Upgrade?

To learn what Hardox wear plate can do for you, visit www.hardox.com and email questions to: contactusa@ssab.com.

Partner with a Hardox® Wearparts center for high quality parts and fabrication using genuine Hardox® wear plate.

CarWil’s skilled team of welders, fabricators and engineers collaborate to meet customer needs. Luis Andrade works to complete a liner assembly.

Find out how upgrading pays off

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