What Is The Best Wear Plate For Drag Chain Applications?

Industries: Paper, Woodyard, Mining, Aggregate, Foundry, Glass, Manufacturing.

Many industries use chain conveyors to move materials from one area to another, particularly heavy loads. This is an area where wear resistant steel is essential for long life.


A cross-section of a typical engineered chain application. The QT-Plus ® through hardened wear resistant steel items are shown in red. The blue indicates the mild steel base plate. The chain drags along the wear plate between the uprights.


The view from above shows the chains riding between the upper wear plates. Notice the cross bar welded onto the chain to assist in moving the logs efficiently.

What Is The Difference Between AR400 And QT-Plus ®?

If you use AR400, AR450, AR500 or AR600; the majority of those steel plates are only hard on the surface. Most people are confused by this because steel is hard to the touch. Yet the steel is much softer in the middle, much like an Oreo cookie.

Check out an easy to understand, in-depth explanation in a prior blog by Clicking Here.

By comparison, JADCO QT-Plus ® is the same hardness throughout the thickness of the steel. Your Benefit is having consistent wear from top to bottom.

For example, say you have ½” thick QT-Plus ® plate and after 36 months it has worn down to 3/8” thick. You know you have at least another 36 months before you need to replace it. This way you can budget for materials and labor when it is convenient for you.

Compare that with an unplanned failure which stops everything and demands you have to replace it NOW. This means no production while you have to expedite both replacement steel and overtime pay to outside contractors. This is what occurs when the AR400 style ‘Oreo’ plate wears through the thin hard surface then rapidly wears away on the softer center of the steel.

Wear will always happen, we cannot stop it. Don’t make hardest item to change, the one with the lowest cost.

To replace the chain deck, all the chains must be removed before you can replace the decks. This customer attempted to save money initially with the lowest cost wear plate. This required frequent replacements at a very high cost and extended loss of production.

By going to QT-Plus ® they extended the life by over 2.5 times. They were able to document over $1,000,000 in savings to the papermill on their log deck, by using the correct wear resistant steel.


Chain deck sub-assemblies are staged on site, ready to be installed on a rebuild. Here you can see the wear plates, risers and top plates. The ends on each wear plate are beveled for welding together when in place. The surface rusted circles, are the plug weld locations on the wear plates.

Monitor the chain wear plate by Non-Destructive Testing for thickness or by periodic measuring the material during down times. Don’t be caught by surprise with an unexpected shutdown due to worn out equipment.


The yellow arrow points to what was the top surface of the AR400 wear plate under the chain. You can see how deeply the chain has worn into the AR400 plate. Because it was only surfaced hardened, and once through that area, it wore rapidly and required unscheduled replacement.

JADCO’s QT Plus ® delivers greater performance IN YOUR WEAR APPLICATIONS than the various AR400 steel plates you have used previously.

Being able to create wear resistant steel having the same hardness through the entire thickness of the steel, demands you accurately control the alloying chemistry with precise heat treating.

Why Doesn’t Every Steel Company Make Their Wear Materials Last As Long As JADCO QT Plus ®?

The attention to detail required at the steel mill in Pennsylvania is actually available to anyone.

Yet most steel wear plate distributors choose to limit the proper quantities and percentages of these essential elements for the goal of a lower price.

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

In Case You Missed It – Three Of Our Most Popular Wear Plate Blog Posts:

Can You Identify If You Have A Wear Plate Problem?

Effective Teamwork To Resolve Wear Plate Challenges

Some Things Never Change