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Creusabro®: wear-resistant steel for the toughest jobs

Creusabro® is a range of advanced wear-resistant steels from Industeel. Thanks to its unique chemical composition and the manufacturing process used to produce the steel, Creusabro® significantly extends the lifetime of wear parts in critical applications. In a series of real-life tests, Creusabro® has proven it adds value to applications exposed to extremely abrasive conditions and high levels of heat. Unlike many wear-resistant grades, Creusabro® becomes harder as it is used. That makes it easy to form, but ensures it will last at between 50 and 100 percent longer than other wear resistant steels.

The high-performance grades in the Creusabro® range (8000 and Dual) are oil quenched to give the steel its unique properties. While it is soft when delivered, it hardens during working, an effect which continues throughout the life of the part. The impact hardening zone penetrates between 0.3 to 1.0 mm below surface of steel and is evenly distributed explains Staffan Holzapfel, Industeel Country Manager for Norway, Denmark, Sweden: “With Creusabro® you get the exact same level of hardness across the entire surface of the steel which results in an even wear rate.”

Deformation hardening effect lasts a lifetime

The steel is distributed worldwide through specialised companies known as Creusabro® partners. One of the most active in Europe is Bergs Mekaniska, a steel service centre with facilities in Sweden. The company is also responsible for marketing and sales of Creusabro® in Finland and Norway. Bergs Mekaniska regularly run fields tests of Creusabro® which consistently prove the benefits of the steel, particularly in mining and quarrying operations.

Alloying elements give the steel additional properties such as its heat resistance up to 450°C. That makes it ideal for applications such as an asphalt mixing drum – the subject of a recent Bergs Mekaniska field test. “Creusabro® was compared to HB 450, a standard wear-resistant grade, over a period of nine months in the lining of a gravel-drying drum,” says Per-Inge Berg, Director of Bergs Mekaniska. “The drum is used to dry gravel at heat as part of the asphalt production process. Over the nine months, the Creusabro® 8000 grade outperformed HB 450 by more than 50 percent.”

A perfect option for the right applications

Another field test saw Creusabro® Dual tested against HB 450 in the bottom plate of a vibration feeder used in a zinc mine. The feeder transports rocks and stones into a crusher by causing the rocks to jump and move forward. This exploits the deformation hardening effect observed in Creusabro®.

“With standard high-wear grades typically used in this application, the feeder plates have a life of just 17 to 20 weeks,” notes Per-Inge Berg. “With Creusabro®, the plates last 52 weeks. The mill earns around €600,000 per day and changing the plates takes around eight hours, costing €200,000 in lost production each time. The economic advantage for our customer is significant over the course of a year. In the right application such as this one, Creusabro® is the perfect option.”

Significant economic advantages

While it comes at a higher price than HB 450, the durability of Creusabro® ensures it is cost-effective in the long term says Staffan Holzapfel: “The minor initial cost difference for the base material is far outweighed by the lower costs for part fabrication, consumables, and labour for repairs and replacement of worn-out parts. Indirect costs such as production losses are also much lower due to the higher availability of machines using parts formed from Creusabro®.”

Another major application for Creusabro® is in the buckets of earthmoving and quarrying equipment. Bergs Mekaniska trialled the steel in this application, initially for a period of 32 weeks. “The bucket made from HB 450 moved around 230,000 tonnes of material before failing,” says Per-Inge Berg. “By contrast, the bucket made from Creusabro® 8000 has moved over 400,000 tonnes of material and is still going.”

Bergs Mekaniska works closely with Industeel to facilitate the field trial programmes and provide support to end customers. “I travel a lot with Staffan and Industeel experts,” notes Per-Inge Berg. “When we visit customers, they can provide their expertise which is much appreciated. There is very good cooperation.”

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All pictures are : © Bergs Mekaniska