ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | June 2021

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Customer-driven innovation

ArcelorMittal and La Piña develop new quenchable boron steel grade with improved wear-resistance

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Since its formation in 1949, La Piña has been a leading manufacturer of wear parts for the agricultural sector. Today the company is a global supplier of agricultural products such as discs and plough shares. In 2018, a La Piña customer requested discs which had even better resistance to abrasive wear than existing boron steel solutions on the market. La Piña immediately turned to ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.

La Piña’s customer asked for the hardness to be increased to between 55 and 57 HRC to enhance the durability of its agricultural discs. La Piña contacted ArcelorMittal’s mill in Sestao (Spain) for a solution.

La Piña exports wear parts for green goods around the globe

New steel designed and prototyped in weeks

Thanks to the close collaboration between ArcelorMittal’s Customer Technical Team, the mill, and ArcelorMittal Global R&D in Gent (Belgium), a suitable solution for La Piña’s customer was developed quickly. The Gent team used their own predictive software to design a new quenchable boron grade with the right chemistry for ArcelorMittal’s Durabor® range. ArcelorMittal Sestao produced coils of the newly designed steel within weeks and sent them to La Piña for evaluation.

La Piña used the steel to manufacture agricultural discs. Disc specimens were sent to both the customer and ArcelorMittal Global R&D for testing.

After heating, the blank is stamped at high temperature to produce the plough disc

La Piña powder coats the finished discs to protect them while in storage and during use

Field tests of the new boron grade have been ongoing for almost two years

ArcelorMittal Global R&D performed large-scale comparative tests of the new Durabor® grade in the laboratory using a synthetic soil with high sand content.

The two sets of discs have been submitted to a wear test which is equivalent to a disc working for 240 kilometres in a real environment. The results show that wear on the discs made from the new steel is 13 percent lower than on those of the grade already used.

Due to its increased hardness after heat treatment, the new quenchable boron grade will enable La Piña to create discs which last longer, require less maintenance, and improve the sustainability of the agricultural industry.

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