Buying hard wear steel for extra hard applications

Business Blog

Extra durable steel tends to be more expensive that the common grades of steel. In businesses there tends to be a trade-off between the cost of rapidly wearing out items and replacing them (when made with cheaper materials) against buying a more expensive high-grade steel and building more durable items. Here are some tips on how to calculate the tradeoff and work out which option is best for your business. 

Get multiple quotes on your steel requirements

The first step is to work out how much steel you will need and get quotes on this amount of steel at different steel grades from a supplier. In some cases, there may be a range of appropriate grades, so you might want to compare a few option to see if the price goes up gradually or if there is a sudden step up in price at a certain grade. 

Estimate the expected life of items made of each grade

Once you know the grades you are using, you can start to estimate how long each grade of steel will last in your application. If you aren't sure, you can always get a sample and tack it into place in your business application. You can leave it in place for a set amount of time to calculate and compare wear rates. This can allow you to calculate expected wear rates of the equipment when it is made with different grades of steel. 

Calculate lifecycle costs

Now you can compare the cost of buying a hard-wearing steel against a cheaper grade of steel by working out how many extra replacements and repairs will be required using the cheaper grade. It is important to also factor in the cost of lost potential production and labour in any repair time, as for many high-intensity production facilities the cost of lost production will be much higher than the material cost of the item. 

In most cases you will need to take some averages and estimates of these numbers, but this should give you a good comparison of the relative costs of using different grades of steel in your company and give you some guidance on which grades might be best suited to your application. 

If you need some additional specific advice on the types of steel that might be suitable for your business, you should contact a steel sales business. They can introduce to a range of steel grades that may be useful. 


29 June 2017

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