Boost payload with lighter-weight, robust trailers: Strenx® performance steel

From the July 2020 issue.

Manufacturers use SSAB’s high strength structural steel Strenx® to produce trucks and trailers that are light, strong, competitive and suited for cleaner running transportation.

SSAB heeds the industry call for innovative steel – providing a solution for logistics companies and road transport fleet operators seeking practical solutions to emission standard compliance, digitalisation and quality equipment that enables significant payload and efficiency gains.

A 2018 case study from management consulting company, Roland Berger, titled Trends in the truck & trailer market found that technical capabilities and power to innovate are essential competitive factors that are gaining importance in the industry and will have the ability to make or break a business.

Innovations, according to SSAB, are not limited to the truck and trailer market, as tremendous innovative efforts are also put into high-performing, high-strength steels that can make trucks and trailers stronger yet lighter with Strenx® performance steel.

Design engineers can achieve impressive results by upgrading from conventional steel to Strenx® high strength structural steel, which provides opportunities to develop equipment in a way that was not possible before according to SSAB. Strenx® steel in trailers helps significantly reduce the weight which translates into increased payload, fuel cost savings, lower life cycle carbon footprint and an increase in a company’s bottom line.

The most common grades used for trailers, according to SSAB, are Strenx® 100, Strenx® 700, Strenx® 900 and Strenx® 960.

These steel products are commonly used in trailer floors and sides, in rear underrun protection devices, kingpin assemblies, drawbar couplings, timber trailer stakes and bunks and main load carrying structure such as cross members and longitudinal beams.

The use of Strenx® often means higher payloads and fewer trips.

Trailer and tipper components made of Strenx® in thinner dimensions compared to conventional steel are both stronger and lighter. Stronger and lighter implies that they can take higher payloads, which reduces the number of trips required to move the same material. When the vehicle is unloaded, there is less overall weight, reducing fuel consumption bringing environmental benefits and reducing the life cycle carbon footprint.

Strenx® performance steel, SSAB said, has extremely consistent properties, ensuring precision and efficiency in the workshop. “It is delivered with a set of guarantees for tight thickness tolerances, tight flatness tolerances and bending guarantees. These guarantees act as a safeguard for trouble-free production with every batch of material. In addition, the steel can generally be processed by the same kind of machinery and technology used for conventional steel. Moreover, as an added benefit, using thinner-gauged steel in the workshop can reduce the cost of cutting, bending and, in particular, welding because fewer weld consumables are used and weld speed can increase.”

SSAB also provides design and development support from material selection of specific products, collaborative design and innovation recommendations to production efficiency recommendations, specialist advice and best-practice guidance.

This support also extends to workshop fabrication which includes recommendations on welding and forming, tooling advice and the provision of trial material for testing and prototyping.

SSAB’s My Inner Strenx® program allows certified members to market their equipment with the ‘My Inner Strenx®’ sign of quality on their products.

This reportedly assures customers that their qualified products have been certified to meet the strictest quality control standards and highest published guarantees for high-performance steel. When end users see this sign of quality sticker, they know it is made with superior steel and quality-controlled production techniques for their demanding applications. Products in the My Inner Strenx® program also have a higher resale value.

Italian trailer manufacturer, Mantella, used Strenx® high strength structural steel to revolutionise the design of its Stratosphere tipper.

The company’s innovative trailer chassis in Strenx® 960 weighs in on par with aluminium, and has all the durability, fatigue strength and production advantages of steel. By upgrading to Strenx® 960, Mantella not only offers its customers a chassis that is 145kg lighter, but also has superior mechanical properties and improved road handling. The design made Mantella a winner of the international Swedish Steel Prize in 2018.

“By lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per tonne kilometre, we are contributing to a more sustainable world,” said Gregorio Mantella, Plant Director at Mantella S.r.l. “To successfully develop this lightweight trailer, the entire company has been involved – design engineers, production, management and purchasers. The Stratosphere trailers make use of all the benefits obtainable from SSAB’s high-strength steel grade Strenx® 960. Naturally we are also in the process of implementing stronger and lighter design solutions for our other trailer series.”

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