What is Abrasion Resistant Steel

Abrasion Resistant Steel, often abbreviated as AR steel, is a type of steel specifically designed to withstand wear and tear better than other standard steels. This unique characteristic makes it invaluable in various industries where durability and longevity are crucial. But what exactly is abrasion resistant steel, and how is it utilised? Let’s delve deeper into this remarkable material.

Understanding Abrasion Resistant Steel

What Makes Abrasion Resistant Steel Unique?

Abrasion resistant steel is alloyed with specific elements that increase its hardness and toughness. The primary alloying elements include carbon, manganese, and boron. The process of creating AR steel involves quenching and tempering, which enhances its resistance to mechanical wear.

  • Hardness: This is the key feature that differentiates abrasion resistant steel from other types of steel. The hardness is typically measured in Brinell Hardness Numbers (BHN), with AR steels often having a BHN ranging from 200 to 500.
  • Toughness: Despite being extremely hard, AR steel also maintains a good level of toughness, making it resistant to cracking and breaking under stress.

Types of Abrasion Resistant Steel

Abrasion resistant steel comes in various grades, each tailored for specific applications. The most common grades include AR200, AR235, AR400, and AR500. The number in each grade represents the nominal hardness in Brinell Hardness Number.

  • AR200 and AR235: These grades offer moderate abrasion resistance and are typically used in applications where the impact is not a significant concern.
  • AR400: This is a popular grade known for its balance between hardness and toughness. It is widely used in heavy machinery.
  • AR500: With a higher hardness rating, AR500 is ideal for severe wear environments such as mining equipment and ballistic applications.

Applications of Abrasion Resistant Steel

Heavy Machinery and Equipment

One of the primary uses of abrasion resistant steel is in the manufacture of heavy machinery and equipment. The high hardness and durability make it ideal for components that undergo constant friction and impact.

High Strength Steel usage - AJ Marshall

Construction Equipment

In construction, equipment like bulldozers, excavators, and loaders are often fitted with AR steel components. The buckets, blades, and teeth of these machines are typically made from AR400 or AR500 steel to ensure they can handle the stress and wear of moving earth and other heavy materials.

Mining Industry

The mining industry heavily relies on abrasion resistant steel for equipment that deals with the extraction and processing of minerals. Conveyors, crushers, and hoppers made from AR500 steel can withstand the abrasive materials being processed, leading to longer equipment life and reduced maintenance costs.

Transportation and Automotive Industry

Truck Beds and Trailers

For transporting heavy and abrasive loads, trucks and trailers often use abrasion resistant steel for their beds and sidewalls. AR400 and AR500 grades provide the necessary toughness and wear resistance to handle materials like gravel, sand, and scrap metal.

Off-Road Vehicles

In the automotive sector, especially for off-road vehicles, abrasion resistant steel is used in skid plates, bumpers, and other parts prone to impact and abrasion. This enhances the vehicle’s durability and performance in harsh environments.

Abrasion Resistant Steel - AJ Marshall

Industrial Manufacturing

Conveyor Systems

In industrial settings, conveyor systems are critical for moving materials efficiently. Using AR steel for the rollers and belts ensures these systems can operate continuously without significant wear, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

Wear Liners

Manufacturing plants often use wear liners made from abrasion resistant steel to protect their equipment. These liners can be found in chutes, hoppers, and other areas where materials are in constant motion, preventing damage to the underlying structure.

Advantages of Using Abrasion Resistant Steel

Longevity and Durability

The primary advantage of abrasion resistant steel is its extended service life. By reducing the rate of wear and tear, this steel ensures that machinery and equipment last longer, leading to lower replacement and maintenance costs.


Although the initial cost of abrasion resistant steel can be higher than standard steel, the long-term savings are significant. The reduced need for repairs and replacements, coupled with decreased downtime, makes it a cost-effective choice for many industries.

Enhanced Performance

Equipment made from abrasion resistant steel performs better under harsh conditions. The enhanced hardness and toughness ensure that machinery operates smoothly and efficiently, even in abrasive environments.

Abrasion Resistant Steel - AJ Marshall

Challenges and Considerations

Machining and Fabrication

One of the challenges with abrasion resistant steel is its machinability. The same hardness that provides superior wear resistance can make it difficult to cut, weld, and shape. Specialised tools and techniques are often required to work with AR steel, which can increase fabrication costs.


Abrasion resistant steel is typically denser and heavier than standard steel. This added weight can be a consideration in applications where weight reduction is critical. Engineers must balance the benefits of increased durability with the potential drawbacks of added weight.

The Future of Abrasion Resistant Steel

As technology and material science continue to advance, the development of even more robust and versatile abrasion resistant steels is on the horizon. Innovations in alloy composition and manufacturing processes will likely lead to AR steels with enhanced properties, further expanding their range of applications.

Partnering with AJ Marshall for Success

Abrasion resistant steel is a crucial material in many industries, offering unmatched durability and performance in harsh environments. Understanding what abrasion resistant steel is and its myriad uses helps us appreciate its importance in modern engineering and manufacturing. Whether in heavy machinery, transportation, or industrial manufacturing, the use of AR steel ensures that our equipment is up to the challenges of wear and tear, providing reliability and efficiency where it matters most.

At AJ Marshall, we are committed to providing you with the best abrasion resistant steel solutions, including Raex Wear Plate. Our team of experts works closely with you to understand your specific needs. Contact our sales team today on 01423 359111 for a free quote.

Download our Abrasion Resistant (RAEX Summary Sheet) here.

Download our Abrasion Resistant (RAEX 400 + 500 Sheet) here.