AR400 and AR500 Explained
Some 4,000 years ago, steel made its first appearance. Over the centuries, various cultures improved upon the original formula, eventually developing the types of steel used today. This alloy has established its place in virtually every industry imaginable and has endless uses. While numerous types of steel are on the market, some aren’t recommended for certain applications.
In many instances, abrasion-resistant steel plate is the best choice. Though there are variations of this type of material as well, AR400 and AR500 are the most commonly used. We’re going to delve into both of these steel plate options to further explain their similarities, differences, and potential uses.
What Is Abrasion-Resistant Steel?
Steel is the prime choice for a long list of applications because of its many useful qualities. It’s strong, durable, long lasting, resistant to corrosion, versatile, cost effective, and even recyclable. That said, different types of steel have their own strong suits.
As the name indicates, abrasion-resistant steel plate has an uncanny ability to withstand ongoing rubbing, scraping, grating, and other wear that might weaken other variations of steel. It gets its abrasion resistance from carbon and other elements that are added during its formation as well as specialized processing strategies.
Both factors detract from the strength of steel plate to an extent but make it less vulnerable to wear. They also ramp up its malleability and certain other traits depending on whether it’s AR 400 or AR 500 steel. This makes it less than ideal for building structures and some other uses while rendering it perfect for other purposes, which we’ll discuss further shortly.
What Makes AR Steel Plate So Resistant to Abrasion?
While the chemical composition of AR steel helps to fortify its sought-after qualities, that’s only part of the bigger picture. It’s also through-hardened. That means it’s hardened throughout rather than only being reinforced on the surface as some types of steel plate are. This comes from quenching and tempering.
During the quenching phase, steel plate is heated to 1,500 degrees or so. Then, it’s immersed in water to cool it quickly. This causes crystals to form within the steel, making it harder. From there, it’s tempered, or heated to around 500 degrees, and allowed to cool slowly and naturally. This second round of heating breaks down the crystals in the metal, but they reform during the slow cooling stage.
How Is AR Steel Plate Rated?
Different rating systems apply to steel. For AR steel plate, the main grading system is the Brinell Hardness Test. Plates are given a Brinell Hardness Number, or BHN, based on their level of hardness. In the case of AR400 steel plate, 400 is the plate’s nominal hardness, and it has a hardness range of 360 to 440. For AR500 steel plate, the nominal harness is 500, and its range is 460 to 544. AR450 and AR600 steel plates are also available, but they’re a bit less common.
Differences between AR400 and AR500 Steel Plate
Many people may think that a 100-point spread wouldn’t make much of a difference in the inherent qualities of steel plates. In truth, AR400 and AR500 steel plates are quite different. As alluded to earlier, the differences come from their alloy components and the specific quenching and tempering processes used in their creation.
For AR400, chromium is added to improve the steel plates’ hardness and resistance to corrosion. Molybdenum increases hardness as well, but it also helps prevent the steel from becoming too brittle to work with after being tempered. AR400 steel plate has a yield strength of 155,000 PSI and a tensile strength of 180,000 PSI.
What is AR500 steel plate made of? Aside from the typical metals used to form steel, manganese is added to the mix to create this type steel plate. This increases its strength and pliability though it’s less malleable than AR400. It holds up well against wear, impacts, and constant use and can be welded. AR500 has a yield strength of 200,000 PSI and a tensile strength of 225,000 PSI.
Uses for AR400 and AR500 Steel
Both types of steel plate have several uses, and they’re difficult to wear out even when subjected to continual abuse. Overall, AR steel plates are chosen for projects in which strength is important but not as crucial as resistance to friction, impacts, and other hazards. They’re also commonly used in situations where a distinct balance between hardness and brittleness is needed.
For projects that require more formability, AR400 is most likely the better option. It’s not as hard as AR500, so it’s not as difficult to bend and shape. If your project needs to withstand excessive impacts; sliding across hard, rough surfaces; and other similar hazards, AR500 will serve you well.
AR400 steel plate is often used for digging, scraping, and mining equipment as well as many other types of heavy machinery. It’s also used in steel mills, pulp and paper production facilities, and handling of bulk dry goods among many other applications. It may also be used for dump truck and storage bin liners, trailer bodies, and various automotive components.
Some of the common uses for AR500 steel plate overlap those of AR400. Still, it offers greater longevity and durability than its softer counterpart. It’s used for construction machinery, concrete handling equipment, and plows to name a few possibilities. It’s also used for body armor, targets, and other comparable applications because the AR500 steel caliber rating is higher than that of AR400.
In a Few Words
Steel is used in countless ways, including constructing buildings and bridges, building ships, manufacturing vehicles and appliances, fabricating tools, and creating heavy machinery. Abrasion-resistant steel plate isn’t recommended for building high-rises, bridges, and other structures that need to bear extremely heavy loads. Still, it certainly has its own lengthy list of purposes.
Though several types of steel plate are available, AR400 and AR500 are the most widely used. They offer increased impact resistance, longevity, and versatility for the many situations in which those traits are needed more so than higher levels of strength. Keep all this information in mind, and don’t hesitate to reach out for further assistance with choosing the right option for your upcoming project.