ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | December 2018

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At the cutting edge

New 45MnB4 boron grade extends durability of agricultural blades

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Boron steel grades from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products offer a unique microstructure and hardness which can stand up to the most abrasive wear. With the release of a new grade in the range – 45MnB4 – long-term ArcelorMittal customer Blount Civray is exploiting the high hardness properties of this steel to create cutting blades with extreme durability. By innovating with 45MnB4, Blount Civray is also satisfying customer demand and putting themselves ahead of the competition.

Blount Civray contacted ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products when one of their customers expressed interest in creating a new product. The application, a cutting blade for a combine harvester, demanded higher hardness and durability than existing boron grades could offer. Developed by ArcelorMittal Sestao (Spain), 45MnB4 offered exactly the right properties.

Cutting blade assemblies after painting

Better hardness and durability with 45MnB4

“45MnB4 is a higher quality material with better hardness and durability than the 30MnB5 and 36MnB5 boron grades we use for applications such as lawnmower blades,” says Patrick Baré, general manager of Blount Civray. “Our customer has measured the performance of the grade and found that 45MnB4 extends the durability of the part significantly. We are undertaking more research into 45MnB4 as we believe it could be interesting for other applications in the future.”

Patrick Baré,
general manager of Blount Civray

After the steel is cut to the right shape, Blount Civray uses induction hardening to finish the steel. “We installed a new induction hardening line in July 2018 and created a completely new process to mass produce the part,” says Patrick Baré. “This offers our customer a more reliable product. We’ve doubled our consumption of 45MnB4 since the line became operational.”

Finished cutting blades made with 45MnB4 boron steel

The new 45MnB4 cutting blade produced by Blount Civray will be used in a combine harvester

Niche applications

While 45MnB4 is interesting for some applications, Patrick Baré notes that they will still utilise 30MnB5 or 36MnB5: “45MnB4 is a good answer for niche applications which require additional hardness. But the existing boron grades we utilise are a perfect compromise and have the mechanical properties most of our customers need.”

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