Common Applications Of AR Steel Plates And Where To Purchase Them

December 10, 2021 in Blog / Steel Plates

The global AR steel plate market was valued at $2.661 billion in 2020. By the end of 2027, this is expected to grow to $3.925 billion.

If you are looking to invest in steel plates for a project, the first thing you need to know is that there are a number of types. For a successful project, making the right choice is essential. AR steel is one of the more common, with various different applications.

For an explanation of what AR steel plate is, and how it could be useful to you, keep reading.

What Is AR Steel Plate

Abrasion-resistant (AR) steel is a high-carbon steel alloy. As the name suggests, it is more resistant to abrasions than other steel.

As with all types of steel, it has a number of different characteristics, which determine the applications it is suitable for.

Like most metals, AR steel has a number of grades available. Some of the most common are AR400, AR450, AR500, and AR600. The primary difference in these grades is the BHN (brittle hardness number). The higher the BHN, the higher the level of hardness.

Typical levels are as follows:

  • AR400: 360-400 BHN
  • AR450: 430-480 BHN
  • AR500: 460-544 BHN
  • AR600: 570-625 BHN

AR Steel Chemical Composition

Each grade has a slightly different chemical composition, resulting in varied characteristics.

A typical example is AR500 steel. As with all steels, this is primarily iron, with the following composition:

  • Carbon – 0.31%
  • Manganese – 0.95%
  • Phosphorus – 0.025%
  • Sulfur – 0.005%
  • Silicon – 0.65%
  • Chromium – 0.75%
  • Nickel – 1%
  • Molybdenum – 0.75%
  • Boron – 0.003%

This particular grade has a yield strength of 200 ksi, a tensile strength of 225 ksi, and an elongation of 12″ (with a 2″ thickness)

Manufacturing Process

A two-part process known as quenching and tempering is used to produce AR steel. This causes a change in the grain structure which helps increase the toughness of the metal as well as increasing the formability. The change in grain results in through-hardening.


The process of quenching involves heating the material (usually to 1,300 – 1,650°F) followed by rapid cooling with water.

This increases the hardness of the steel and forms a crystal-like structure within it.


Done after quenching, the metal is re-heated to a below-critical temperature (roughly 300-700°F) and then cooled naturally at room temperature.

The heating breaks down the previously formed crystal structure, which then forms again during the cooling stage. The majority of the strength and hardness will be retained while increasing the ductility of the steel. Through-hardening is a term that refers to the structural change in the grain from this process.

The Advantages of AR Steel

There are several advantages to AR steel for many applications. These characteristics are the result of the chemical composition of the steel, as well as the manufacturing process.

Hardness and Wear Resistance

Due to the additional carbon present in AR steel, the hardness and toughness are enhanced. It will maintain its form even after a large amount of wear and tear.

In a number of projects, wear and tear can be the main cause of failures. The wear resistance of AR steel can be a huge advantage here. Fewer breakdowns mean less time and money spent on repairs, as well as fewer interruptions to production.

This makes it more suitable for high-wear applications, and less so for structural applications support beams in buildings or bridges.

Formability and Machinability

With metals, as hardness increases, formability decreases. As a very hard metal, AR steel doesn’t generally have great formability. It does, however, have several options in this aspect. The different grades available have different levels of formability. Depending on your project, you can assess your options, and find the right grade of AR steel for you.

AR500 and AR600 for example, are harder grades. They will provide exceptional durability but can be difficult to machine. AR plate steel welding is also fairly difficult for these grades.

Other grades such as AR400 and AR450 are more balanced in terms of hardness and formability. They can be reasonably machined or welded but are still quite durable in comparison to other steels.


Generally, AR steel is a bit more expensive than other types. In the long run, however, it could actually result in lower costs. The hardness and durability mean that less maintenance or repairs will be needed. A cheaper metal that is less durable will be more likely to fracture and need replacing more often.

It is worth noting that grades with a higher BHN generally cost more than those with a lower BHN, but other factors will also have an effect on the overall cost (i.e. market conditions, order size, etc.).

Common Uses of AR Steel Plate

The most prominent advantage of AR steel is its durability. It is primarily used for applications that involve a lot of wear, such as:

  • Excavators
  • Tunnel construction equipment
  • Material conveyors
  • Bulldozers
  • Boring machines
  • Chutes
  • Silos
  • Steel rolling equipment
  • Balers
  • Coal hoppers
  • Pulverizer lining

The list goes on, and there are many other common uses amongst various types of machinery as well as power plants.

Choosing the Right Materials

Just like every other metal, AR steel plate has a number of pros and cons. When it comes down to choosing the right material for your project, all of these should be taken into account.

Bushwick Metals have been supplying high-quality steel for over 100 years. Whether you need AR steel plate metal or any other steel for your project, we’ve got you covered. We provide value-added services such as plate processing, saw cutting, and bending, and offer next-day delivery, so your order can be out to you as soon as you need it.

If you are interested in making an order, or just have some questions, get in touch with us by clicking here. We are always ready to help.

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