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Steel Warehouse, Tata Launch Abrasion-Resistant Strip Product

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Europe’s Tata Steel and Steel Warehouse have unveiled a new abrasion-resistant steel product to the American markets.

The new product, Valast 450, is a strip steel product designed for use in the mining, agriculture, construction, refuse and recycling industries. The product, which will be distributed exclusively by Steel Warehouse in the Americas, offers a variety of advantages compared with traditional abrasion-resistant, discrete plate products, the companies claim. 

“Abrasion-resistant steels are subject to some of the toughest working environments imaginable,” said Gordon AuBuchon, Steel Warehouse’s executive vice president for product development. “Valast 450 provides our customers with the strength and durability of an abrasion-resistant steel, while at the same time providing them with the quality, inventory management and high-level of technical support they’ve come to expect from Steel Warehouse and our partners at Tata Steel.”

Steel Warehouse executives saw the need for a wide strip product to counteract some of the issues customers had with traditional discrete plate. “The advantages of a strip mill product is it’s a better surface and has better gauge control. It’s more consistent in terms of its overall properties. And you can produce more tons per hour,” said AuBuchon.

Steel Warehouse took the idea to Tata in part because the company operates an 81-inch wide mill in The Netherlands, which would allow Tata to produce wider material than some of their European competitors who have begun offering abrasion-resistant coil products.

“Valast provides our customers with an opportunity to reduce waste and improve efficiency,” said Glyn Martin, a technical support engineer at Tata Steel. “Because it’s a strip-steel product, Valast can be cut to any length needed with the added benefit of having the greatest width available in the industry.”

In conjunction with the product’s launch, Steel Warehouse will begin offering autogenous laser welding, to allow customers widths up to 120 inches and beyond. The company has begun developing partnerships with its fabricating customers to expand into autogenous laser welding, which has an advantage over hybrid laser welding in that it produces no bead or unequal properties at the weld zone, AuBuchon said.

In addition to the greater widths, the product is available in smaller gauges, offering the opportunity for lightweighting that many customers seek. The company offers the product in ranges from 2 millimeters up to 12, though it will focus on the 2- to 10-milliemeter range.

“Our ability to process it is what sets us apart is and convinced Tata to make the investments,” AuBuchon said.