Did You Know AR400 Steel Has NO Industry Standards?

Do you really know what you are buying?

The name AR400 steel indicates to most people the steel they are buying is 400 BHN (Brinell) hardness. Because there are no industry guidelines or standards for wear plate, it can be any hardness at all. We have seen foreign made steel wear plate sold as AR400; test at 302 BHN hardness! Did the customer get what they paid for? No way.

Are you getting maximum life from your wear plate investment? Or have you accepted that all wear resistant steels are the same?

Besides questionable hardness, you have likely experienced these additional issues using commodity AR400:

1. Like an Oreo cookie, most AR steel is softer in the center: It is very easy and inexpensive to make wear plate hard, but only on the surface. Without adequate alloy content it is impossible to have a through hardened wear plate.


The center of thicker steel plates is similar in hardness to mild steel. Since all steel is hard to the touch, most people think steel is the same hardness all the way through. That is not the case. Inexpensive wear plate is just surface hard, as you see in this photo. Once the hard surface wears through, the softer middle of the plate wears away quickly.

2. Difficult to form: The greater the Carbon content of the steel, the less it will bend to shape. AR400 is difficult to form and attempting to form commodity AR500 or higher is impractical. It will often crack if you try to bend it at all.

3. Difficult to weld: Higher alloy and greater Carbon content requires precise preheat and welding procedures. Most AR400 manufacturers specify generic 7018 welding rods, confirming their plate has little alloy content.

4. Poor impact resistance: Nearly all wear is a combination of abrasion and impact. One steel making rule of thumb is: ‘The higher the hardness, the higher your Carbon content, or the colder the temperature; the lower the impact resistance of your steel’.


If you have experienced cracked steel wear plate, chances are it failed due to poor impact resistance properties. This results in expensive downtime, buying more steel and costly labor.

5. Expensive labor costs to remove the old steel and install new steel. You seldom have enough time or labor to change out what absolutely must be done. When your wear plate fails before your next scheduled replacement, you are not only forced to buy replacement steel, you have to remove the failed plate and re-install replacement plate again. Any slight savings you had buying inexpensive plate, just became your most expensive decision.

Click Here for the prior blog post on heat treating, where we go into hardness testing in detail.
Has your vendor ever told you the steel you buy is not the same hardness all the way through the thickness of the wear plate? Betting odds say they never brought it up.

Now You Can Finally Control Your Own Scheduled Replacements
Because JADCO QT Plus ® has the same hardness completely through the thickness of the steel, your wear resistance is not only consistent – it is also very predictable.

Here is why consistent and predictable is critically important:
Let’s say you installed a ½” QT Plus ® three years ago. Testing shows it has now worn to 3/8” thick. This means the wear removed 1/8” of material in 3 years. Now you can plan to replace it at a time you choose in another 3 years when it will likely have ¼” remaining. Capital budget planning and labor scheduling, are now finally under your complete control. Rather than losing sleep anticipating yet another unscheduled failure at the worst possible time, you select the time to replace the wear plate when it is convenient for your time and budget.

Your HUGE benefit is being able to walk away from a completed project without having to constantly worry if it will perform as needed. Now you can concentrate on the millions of other details demanding your time.

Extend the life cycle of your equipment
A perfect example is a major company in central Wisconsin. In 2005 they installed QT Plus ® where they had always used AR 400. For this application, AR400 would barely make it 4 years. They wanted to double their plate life for this project, since labor costs have increased dramatically. Inspection of the QT Plus ® in 2012, allowed them to plan replacing this steel in 2015. This maintains both their budget and schedules.

Your Hardness Is Guaranteed
We test steel hardness ON EVERY SINGLE PLATE of QT Plus ®.

We track every plate thru each project. There are no hidden gimmicks, excuses, concerns, or questions on what material went into your project. You always know what you get when you buy QT Plus ®.

Our competition cannot match the QT Plus ® advantages you receive:
• QT Plus ® is specifically designed to maintain 95% hardness at the midline of a 3” thick plate, when the competitors cannot say the same about 1” thick commodity AR type steel. This means the QT Plus ® plate you use will be the same hardness throughout, guaranteed. Predictable wear means wear is under control.

• QT Plus ® is readily formable using the right equipment: With a target hardness of 500 BHN, the precise ratio of critical elements allows us to cold form QT Plus ®. But don’t plan on your neighborhood fabricator bending it. We designed this material to combat abrasion and impact. It will resist your bending efforts too. Forming QT Plus ® requires FOUR TIMES the force of mild steel. If your local fabricator can bend 1.5” thick mild steel, they can only bend 3/8” QT Plus ®. With two 1,000 ton press brakes and two sets of rolls we have the proper tools to form QT Plus ® for your specific needs. Call today to see how we can help.

Welding QT Plus ® is easy when you follow proper standard welding procedures. Preheat the steel prior to welding, and use the correct welding alloys for the material. QT Plus ® has high levels of Nickel, Chromium, Molybdenum and Boron. We recommend using Fusion UltraBond welding wire created specifically for this steel.

• Avoid extra AR replacement costs and labor expense in standard replacement steel life cycles. Conserve your capital budget and profits. Extending your wear life in problem areas maximizes your results. A thorough project examination proves QT Plus ® to be your most cost effective material option available. Focus on your next biggest headache; how can we help there as well?

• Proudly made in the U.S.A!!

QT Plus ® is made to our precise specifications by Arcelor Mittal USA in Conshohocken, PA. We discovered no other steel mill can match the exacting quality we demand. This assures you receive the best product available, with every order.

• Every QT Plus ® plate is tested at the mill to assure consistent results for your applications. This gives you dependable, predictable results every time. If it doesn’t meet our specifications, it doesn’t ship – simple as that.

In one real world test after another, QT Plus ® delivers longer, more predictable life than other alloy steel wear plates.

So what do YOU get by working with JADCO?

• Expert Analysis to uncover the true cause of your problems, rather than just treating the symptoms.

• Compress Your Time to Results. My experience in a variety of industries will quickly determine what materials, methods and techniques will deliver the quickest results to control your applications.

• This is all about improving your results, not about steel. Using the right tools for the job delivers the results you have been searching for, but never had time to track down all the options. I can recommend the proper materials for your applications, even if my product is not the solution.

• Guaranteed Peace of Mind Knowing Your Wear Resistant Steel Will Fit. When we measure your replacement parts, they fit. Period. There are zero excuses.

• Delivering Maximum Life for Your Worst Wear Problems. There is a reason why our customers who bought QT Plus ® reorder additional plates for their other applications. It simply works better than any other steel they have used. A large aggregate producer had replaced loader bucket bottoms every other year. Their first QT Plus ® replacement bucket bottom installed in 2005 is still going strong. Since they no longer needed to be replaced as usual, this left thousands of dollars available for additional equipment.

Are you continuing to patch your existing wear plate, while praying for better results?

Or will you finally get better results and longer life than you ever have before by using QT Plus ®?

For over the last 40 years JADCO has focused exclusively on delivering consistent, longer equipment life for our customers.

Now you understand why we are able to deliver better results to our customers. We think differently by strictly focusing to improve your current results.

Allow us to help you today by calling (724) 452-5252, or email

We will schedule a meeting with one of our local wear plate specialists at a time that best fits your schedule.

Remember, the only thing you have to lose by not working with JADCO, are your profits.

When your standard AR wear plate gives out, give JADCO a shout! (724) 452-5252