ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | March 2017

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Future proof storage

Advanced high strength steels make racking systems more competitive and safer

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Modern life would be almost impossible without the large-scale warehouse and distribution centres which provide us with everything from food to spare parts.

Increasingly automated, these centres require robust racking systems which can withstand daily knocks and bumps from packages, forklifts, and robotic systems. Advanced high strength steel grades from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products are helping distribution centre owners to develop lightweight, robust, and durable racking systems which will keep us supplied with our daily necessities well into the future.

Racking systems have traditionally been made with standard structural steel grades. However, advanced and ultra high strength steels (AHSS/UHSS) allow manufacturers to optimise the thickness and design of their systems. By optimising their designs, market leaders can create innovative racking systems which have improved resistance to the impacts which inevitably occur during daily use.

Modern distribution centres provide us with all the necessities for daily life.

Lightweighting and safety benefits of Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra

High strength low alloy (HSLA) grades such as Amstrong® (AHSS) and Amstrong® Ultra (UHSS) are already being utilised to create low maintenance racking systems which are very cost effective over their entire lifetime. When treated with a high quality metallic coating such as Magnelis® from ArcelorMittal, the life of the racking system is extended even further.

A racking system made with Amstrong® or Amstrong® Ultra grades can cope with significantly heavier loads than structural steels of the same thickness. For example, replacing the standard S235 JR grade with the same thickness of the UHSS Amstrong® grade 700MC can double the load-bearing capacity of the structure. If load weight is not an issue, the thickness of the grade can be reduced, resulting in a lighter and more cost-effective structure.

From left to right: Samples of S235 JR (structural grade), Amstrong® 500MC (AHSS), and Amstrong® Ultra 700MC (UHSS) following a single, 1000 joule impact

Reducing the effect of forklift impacts on rack performance

Forklift truck impacts result in significant maintenance costs for racking system owners. Each collision, even a small one, has an impact on the load-bearing capacity of the system.

The risk of collapse is significantly reduced when AHSS or UHSS are used. The higher strength of these grades can help to preserve initial load bearing capacity even after impact. As well as being safer, maintenance is reduced.

S235 JR (Structural grade) Amstrong® 500MC (AHSS) Amstrong® Ultra 700MC (UHSS)
Width: 250 mm 250 mm - 250 mm =
Thickness: 3 mm 2.5 mm -16.7% 2 mm -33.3%
Weight saving: Reference - -5% - -10%
Cost saving: Reference - -5 to -10% - -5 to -10%

Benefits of using AHSS and UHSS in industrial racking systems

(estimates based on a five-tonne coil)

Racking systems made with AHSS can be higher and support heavier loads than those made with structural steels

For more information about ArcelorMittal’s high strength steels for racking system applications visit:

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