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Pros and Cons of High Strength Steel Tracks


Figure 2: Typical traditional design to the left compared to a modern design utilizing advanced high strength steels.


2 now includes S700MC, S900MC and S960MC (100, 130 and 140 ksi respectively). While it is a technical challenge to make steel that is both very strong and also tough, the quality of such products continues to improve. Most equipment producers should be able to find a supplier capable of meeting their requirements.


The price does typically increase with higher strength steels when considered on a “per-pound” basis, but this can be misleading. When structures are designed with stronger steel, less material is often needed, so the “per piece” costs are typically much closer. Additionally, thinner steels can typically be cut more quickly and welded with less filler metal. Being lighter, the steel, parts, and finished equipment can be handled and transported at a lower cost as well. When manufacturers consider all factors, it is not uncommon to find that equipment that has been upgraded to stronger steel actually has a lower total cost as compared to the original design.


100.0%


In the workshop, steel properties do need to be considered in some cases. For example, stronger steels require more over- bending than mild steel due to increased spring- back, and a top die with a


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10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0%


0.0% Conventional design U-shape design ARC-design


Traditional-shape design Uppgr HSS


Figure 3. Relative production cost comparing Mild Steel in traditional design VS High Strength Steel in two different designs.


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Welding cost Bending cost Laser cost Material cost


MS RelativeCosts for three different designs plus ”Upgrading”


larger radius may be required to avoid bend cracking. Thermal cutting practices are minimally affected for all but the thickest and strongest steels. Clearances may need adjustment when shearing. Welding practices and consumables may also need to be reviewed. For all of these processing operations, refer to documentation from the steel manufacturer for specific guidance. While workshop practices do require consideration, in many cases manufacturers can work with stronger steels without investing in new equipment or losing productivity on the shop floor.


HSS


HSS


HSS


Part of Cost for Traditional design


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