How To Compare Heat Treated Wear Resistant Steels

The Great AR400 Hardness Lie
AR400 type wear resistant steel leads most people to believe the steel they buy is 400 (Brinell) BHN hardness, just by hearing the name. The same goes for AR200, AR300, AR450, AR500 or AR600. Doesn’t the name tell us the hardness?

Because there are ZERO industry standards or guidelines, any plate could be any hardness at all. Some foreign made abrasion resistant steel wear plate was sold as AR400; yet the hardness tested only at 302 BHN! Do you think the customer received the performance they expected? Absolutely not.

ASTM Testing Requirements
ASTM (the American Society for Testing and Materials) requires hardness testing on just one plate for each heat and every 40 tons of steel.

It is important to realize 40 tons of molten steel makes about 41 quantity ¼” thick x 8’ wide x 24’ long AR steel plates.

Why is it important to realize they only test the hardness on one of those fifty plates? Because they are claiming the same hardness for every single plate made in that heat.

In steel making terms, a heat is one batch of steel. A heat can be 500 pounds or 140 tons, depending on the steel mill’s melt capacity.

Here is the dirty little secret we are willing to bet no one else has ever told you:

They harden wear resistant steel just ONE plate at a time.

The chance that you will receive the single plate that was actually tested is extremely remote. Except for the single plate they test from each 40 ton heat, you have no guarantee what the hardness is on your plate.

Unless the steel distributor demands the steel mill specifically test every single plate, they will claim the hardness of their one tested plate, as the AVERAGE hardness on every single plate from that heat.

But It Is Worse Than That…
Here is why this is essential to understand. As an example, here is the fine print on the Hardox® 450 literature regarding Testing; (From Hardox® 450 Data sheet, Version 2007-04-02 p.1), which states:

‘Brinell hardness, HBW according to EN ISO 6506-1, on a milled surface 0.02-0.08 inch below plate surface per heat and 40 metric tons. Tests are made for every variation of 5/8” in the thickness of plates from the same heat.’

What that means is they can test the hardness on a 3/16” thick plate. Then they claim the same hardness for a ¾” plate from the same heat, because they are within the 5/8” range in thickness. For 1” thick steel, they have to do another hardness test since it is over 5/8” thick from the initial test plate. Our experience shows the hardness at the center of these two plates is not even close to the same hardness.

Yet you are buying what you have been told is 400 BHN steel, or whatever hardness steel you ordered. Have they ever told you the steel you buy is not the same hardness all the way through the plate?

A steel mill will make any type of steel you request. For impact and abrasion resistant steel, customers will either buy the standard AR400 steel mill offering; or request a heat made to their own steel chemistry formula.

Have You Experienced The Oreo Cookie Effect?
When first installed, the steel performs very well. Depending on your application, it could go 2, 3 or 4 months without showing any wear. Then within a few weeks it looks like it is almost totally worn out.

Because all steel is hard to the touch, this often sounds strange and confusing to most people.

Without having the correct alloying elements, in the proper ratios, the steel cannot become hard throughout the thickness of the steel. In reality, the steel surface develops hardness only about 0.030” deep.

This means the hardness at the center of your wear plate is nearly the same as mild steel; between 120 to 180 BHN. The heavier your plate, the more pronounced is the Oreo cookie effect.

Your benefit in using through hardened steel is the even, progressive wear though out the thickness of the steel.

This allows you to monitor the wear; allowing you to control when to replace the steel. Finally you can determine when it is convenient for your schedule, rather than reacting to yet another breakdown.

Now You Can Finally Control Your Own Maintenance Schedule
Finally; something you can depend on. Because QT Plus ® has the same hardness completely through the steel, your wear resistance is not only consistent – it is also very predictable.

Here is why consistent and predictable is so important:
As an example, let’s say you installed ½” QT Plus ® three years ago. It is now worn to 3/8” thick. This means your wear removed 1/8” of material in 3 years. This allows you to plan to replace it in another 3 years when it will still have ¼” remaining. Capital budget planning and labor scheduling, are now completely under your 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 best 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 thousands of other details all demanding your attention.

Extend the life cycle of your equipment
A perfect example is a paper mill woodyard that always used AR 400. In this application, AR400 barely made it 4 years. Since labor costs have increased dramatically, they wanted to double their wear plate life on this project. Inspection after 6 years allowed them to delay replacing the plate until after 10 years. This conserved both their capital budget and labor schedules.

With QT Plus ®, Hardness Is Guaranteed
We test the steel hardness for ON EVERY SINGLE PLATE of QT Plus ®. This allows us to track each plate thru every project. There are no excuses, concerns, gimmicks or hidden 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:
1. Avoid extra replacement costs and labor expenses using standard AR steel in traditional replacement life cycles. You can conserve your capital budget and profits. Extending your wear life in problem areas maximizes your results.

2. Predictable wear performance means your wear issue is finally under your control. A thorough project examination proves QT Plus ® to be your most cost effective material option available. This allows you to focus on your next biggest equipment headache; how can we help you?

3. QT Plus ® is readily formable using the proper equipment: Although QT Plus ® ranges from 461 to 537 BHN, the precise ratio of critical elements allow us to cold form QT Plus ®. Please don’t plan on your neighborhood sheet metal shop bending it. We designed this material to combat abrasion and impact, so it will try to resist any forming efforts too. PLEASE NOTE: Bending QT Plus ® requires four times the amount of force required to bend mild steel. If your local fabricator can bend 2” thick mild steel, they can only bend one half inch QT Plus ®. We have the proper equipment to form QT Plus ® for your specific use. Call today to see how we can help.

4. Welding QT Plus ® is easy when you follow standard, proper welding procedures. Preheat the steel prior to welding, and use the correct welding alloys for the material. QT Plus ® contains high levels of Nickel, Chromium, Molybdenum and Boron.

If you are welding in the field and the application makes preheating difficult, you can use 309 stainless steel filler stick or wire. Keep in mind, 309 cannot be cut with a torch for future work. Keep that in mind if torch cutting is a concern.

5. Proudly made in the U.S.A!! JADCO QT Plus ® is made to our precise specifications in the USA. We have been approached by other steel mills trying to win our business, but no other steel mills can match the strict quality standards we demand. This assures you only receive the best products available with every single order.

Here is why you can depend on the best alloy steel wear plate on the market:

JADCO QT Plus ® wear resistant steel was recently updated for even longer life. Since QT Plus ® has become the industry standard for through hardened wear resistant steel plate, we take our time testing before introducing an improved version. We evaluated many different variations of steel chemistry before confirming this is the hardest, most wear resistant version of QT Plus ® to date.

In case you are you wondering how we can make these promises:

1. Every QT Plus ® plate is tested at the mill to assure consistent results for your applications. This gives you dependable, predictable results every time.

2. 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 out of our partnership?

You will quickly discover we concentrate on solving your wear problems, not trying to sell you wear plate. Working together we will determine the correct approach and select the proper materials to control your greatest wear challenges. Only then will we make a recommendation for your maximum Return on Investment. This is all about helping you get your wear challenges under control.

Compress Your Time to Results. Our experience in a multitude of industries will determine which materials, methods and techniques will deliver the quickest results to control your application challenges.

Expert Analysis to uncover the true cause of your problems, rather than continuing to only treat the symptoms.

This is all about improving your results, not about what we sell. Using the right tools for the job delivers the results you have been searching for, but never had time to track down all your options. Together we can recommend the proper materials for your applications, even if our products are not the solution.

Guaranteed Peace of Mind Knowing Your Wear Resistant Steel Will Fit. Other steel salesmen are known for having very few of their projects 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 over 89% of JADCO customers who bought QT Plus ®, reorder for other applications. It simply works better than any other steel they have used.

Are you continuing to patch your wear plate, while praying for better results?
Or will you finally get better results than you ever have before?

Act Now – Analyze Your True Wear Plate Costs:
Don’t wait any longer to make your job easier. Schedule your onsite analysis to discuss your greatest wear challenge. Wouldn’t you like to know the truth?

Take The QT Plus ® Challenge:
Together we will confirm how long your present wear plate lasts in your greatest challenge. Together we will establish an evaluation schedule when you install QT Plus ®. By documenting your results it will confirm your performance improvement.

Act Now – Or are you still unconvinced?
Are you still uncertain if you will receive longer wear plate life using QT Plus ®? Time after time, test results in many diverse industries have proven you will achieve longer life with QT Plus ®.

Or are you like the people from Missouri; famously known as the “Show Me State”. You will never believe it until you see it for yourself, in your own installation. If so, here is what we need to do:

Contact us to set an appointment and together we will:
1. Evaluate your list of wear issues and select your most challenging wear steel headache.
2. Confirm and document the results you are currently getting from your existing wear plate.
3. Determine your achievable performance target results.
4. Compare our price on QT Plus ® to challenge your best ever results performance per dollar.
5. You will see for yourself how well QT Plus ® performs against any other wear plate you have ever used in your most challenging applications.
6. You know if it succeeds in your worst case scenario, we can improve virtually every other application you have.

Don’t Wait, Take Action Now
The choice is yours. You can choose to spend more time with your kids and/or grandkids; or deal with yet another unscheduled breakdown. Together let’s examine what will allow you to walk away from a completed job, confident it will perform as promised. We are certain you’ll love the results after your first test in your most challenging wear headache.

Contact your local JADCO professional by calling us at (724) 452-5252 or email us at:

We look forward to helping you control your biggest wear related challenges.