Why Hardox 550 beats 12% manganese steel and 500 Brinell steel in wear parts
June 30, 2015 12:00 CET 6 min read
An extra 50 Brinell goes a long way with Hardox® 550, the wear plate that significantly extends service life and cuts maintenance costs.
What is Hardox 550?
Hardox 550 is a Q&T martensitic wear plate for applications that demand high resistance to abrasion. Delivering a hardness of 550 Brinell, it offers a unique combination of excellent wear resistance, crack tolerance and workshop performance.
Hardox 550 comes in thicknesses of 10–50 mm (3/8–2") and widths up to 2800 mm (110"). Like all Hardox products, it is produced according to the AccuRollTech™ plate thickness guarantee. A fine-tuned chemical composition and a high-precision processing route give a typical impact toughness of 30 J/-40°C and a hardness accuracy guarantee of +/- 25 Brinell.
Please read the product data sheet for detailed dimensions and specifications.
What can Hardox 550 replace?
Typical applications in the recycling industry include hammers, shredders and cutters. In the mining and quarry industries, applications include bolts on cutting edges, shrouds and linings.
You can use Hardox 550 in applications where you use ordinary 500 Brinell AR steel. By replacing the 500 HBW plate with Hardox 550, you typically gain an extra 60% service life. The low scatter in plate hardness gives the component a consistent wear life, enabling more precise maintenance planning.
Few plates matched the wear life of manganese steels, especially when it came to impact wear. And matching 12% manganese steel required a wear plate harder than 500 Brinell plus easy profiling, welding and machining capabilities.
Hardox 550 solves these problems. A pioneering wear plate, it’s hard, tough and workshop friendly — a genuine alternative to wear parts made of manganese steel.
What are the benefits?
Manganese steel rarely reaches 550 HBW. And if it does, it happens only when exposed to extreme impact wear. For slide wear, it usually stays at a moderate 400–450 Brinell.
Hardox 550 always performs at 550 HBW — no matter the type of wear — so your wear parts will last longer.
Besides maximizing service life, predicting it is vital. Thanks to the consistent hardness of Hardox 550, you can forecast the wear life of your components with greater accuracy.
Owing to its superior form stability, Hardox 550 withstands the roughest wear without denting, expansion or distortion. This streamlines and optimizes your production, leaving your wear parts uncorrupted during service.
Hardox 550 is easily available, so you avoid delayed deliveries of castings from distant suppliers. Just get the plate from your local dealer, and then cut and machine your component for direct installation.
A cherished benefit of Hardox is that it gives you the remarkable opportunity to customize your wear parts. Thanks to the workshop friendliness and availability of Hardox 550, you can now customize your components. Do it yourself or use a local workshop.
Easy workshop handling
The mold shape limits the shape of spare parts made of castings. But the geometry of spare parts made of wear plate is as flexible as your workshop facilities permit. The workshop friendliness of Hardox 550 is thus essential. In contrast to manganese steels, you can profile it, machine it and weld it in standard machines and workshop setups.
Hardox 550 also promotes a healthier work environment compared with manganese steel, since welding and cutting take place without heavy fumes emission.
Why is Hardox 550 better than standard 500 HBW plates in wear parts?
Users of standard 500 Brinell plates don’t want to give up toughness or workability for an extra 50 HBW. We developed Hardox 550 with precisely this in mind, so you can benefit from the bonus wear resistance without having to change your designs or workshop routines.
60% improved service life
Depending on your wear situation, the extra 50 HBW typically increases the service life of your wear parts by 60%.
This is good news for your bottom line. It means you can reduce material and maintenance costs while boosting productivity.
A three-step strategy gives Hardox 550 its high toughness.
First, Hardox 550 gets an extra grain of refinement by additional plate processing. Second, improved plate handling routines secure an outstanding surface finish. This reduces the number of potential points of crack initiation. And third, a homogenous microstructure together with a low level of impurities (inclusions, residuals and segregations) boosts its toughness.
First-class workshop performance
Hardox 550 boasts workshop qualities equivalent to wear plates at 500 HBW. You can weld it and machine it with the same machines you use for ordinary 500 HBW plates.
Of course, as a Hardox user you also gain complete access to our global network of technical support experts.
Why upgrade from Hardox 500 to Hardox 550?
Hardox 500 and 550 share most of the same qualities and come with the same technical support, local personal contact and delivery logistics you expect from SSAB. But there’s one striking difference: the extra 50 HBW of hardness. It might not sound like much, but an extra 60% of wear life can make a huge difference for your applications.
Long-term cost reductions
Extra performance per cost unit remained the focus of developing Hardox 550. The additional wear life would be worth less if the plate price likewise increased. Therefore, we made sure that the 60% gain in service life far outweighed any minor cost difference.
Optimized operational performance
Longer maintenance intervals optimize your production performance. Whether you can leverage all of the +60% life span depends on the operation you manage.
Our application engineers stand ready to help evaluate your particular situation. Just give them a call to get instant help with cost/profit calculations.
More accurate prediction of wear life
Hardox 500 exhibits a hardness scatter of +/- 30 HBW. For Hardox 550, we’ve tightened up the hardness scatter guarantee to +/-25 HBW. This 17% improvement enables you to perform more accurate predictions of wear life and time intervals for maintenance.
This guarantee also ensures that Hardox 550 attains even more uniform steel properties than Hardox 500.
For detailed workshop recommendations, read  or contact Technical Support.