Anyone fabricating with Hardox?

Shovelhands

Member
Location
Sunny Essex
Just mulling an idea over, wondering if anyone has experience of using Hardox or similar? I realise Hardox is just a name.

Not sure if it’s only available in sheet form, or if RHS for instance, is available in that grade of steel?

Other general questions, can it be drilled? Anything special needed to weld it? Can it be folded?
A local firm told me ages ago that they experienced cracking when they tried to fold it, but not sure on the thickness we were discussing at the time? I’d be looking to use 4-5mm I think. It’s for making spreader vanes, so needs to be tough stuff.

Any experience or advice greatly received ?
 

the-mad-welder

Member
Location
Suffolk
It's not particularly difficult to weld, it depends on the actual grade as there are several. I've done a few bucket edges and as long as they get some pre heat it welds fine, not had any comebacks on them.

Ive had some parts drilled, milled and countersunk in the past by others. Again, appropriate tooling for the grade, any machine shop should put you right on that.
 

the-mad-welder

Member
Location
Suffolk
Just mulling an idea over, wondering if anyone has experience of using Hardox or similar? I realise Hardox is just a name.

Not sure if it’s only available in sheet form, or if RHS for instance, is available in that grade of steel?

Other general questions, can it be drilled? Anything special needed to weld it? Can it be folded?
A local firm told me ages ago that they experienced cracking when they tried to fold it, but not sure on the thickness we were discussing at the time? I’d be looking to use 4-5mm I think. It’s for making spreader vanes, so needs to be tough stuff.

Any experience or advice greatly received ?
These are always helpful.
 

Will 1594

Member
Arable Farmer
Just mulling an idea over, wondering if anyone has experience of using Hardox or similar? I realise Hardox is just a name.

Not sure if it’s only available in sheet form, or if RHS for instance, is available in that grade of steel?

Other general questions, can it be drilled? Anything special needed to weld it? Can it be folded?
A local firm told me ages ago that they experienced cracking when they tried to fold it, but not sure on the thickness we were discussing at the time? I’d be looking to use 4-5mm I think. It’s for making spreader vanes, so needs to be tough stuff.

Any experience or advice greatly received ?
Will pm you a number of a lime spreading contractor that makes their own discs and vanes we got a set for our bredal
 

ACEngineering

Member
Location
Oxon
Just mulling an idea over, wondering if anyone has experience of using Hardox or similar? I realise Hardox is just a name.

Not sure if it’s only available in sheet form, or if RHS for instance, is available in that grade of steel?

Other general questions, can it be drilled? Anything special needed to weld it? Can it be folded?
A local firm told me ages ago that they experienced cracking when they tried to fold it, but not sure on the thickness we were discussing at the time? I’d be looking to use 4-5mm I think. It’s for making spreader vanes, so needs to be tough stuff.

Any experience or advice greatly received ?
You could always use Domex, 5mm Domex is what the xform buckets are made from but not sure on the exact grade of it as there are several grades.
 
Iv'e been using 4 and 500 wear plate for about 25 years. 500 is difficult to drill without special drills or tolling but 400 is not too bad and has lower carbon content. All my machine brackets are now 400 which needs a big radius when bending but welds fine. I use 500 for wearing parts which also welds fine with an ordinary SG3 wire.
I have tried hardox 600 but found it too hard to drill and of little benefit on wear, it can also be a bit more brittle.
 

tinman

Member
Location
Ulster
Used to work for a crowd (20 yrs ago) who used Hardox in certain applications, the only way they could stop it from cracking at the edges and along the seam was to pre heat it.
the only way i can fold it is to pre heat it anyways so that covers both bases.
i dont use much of it here, anything i have lying about is an off cut from an engineering company.
i cant fold anything too wide as i only have an attachment for the iron worker to do what i need, it will fold up to 500mm wide, i made up a bracket not so long ago using hardox 500, what i was looking to bend was only about 300mm wide in 1/2 plate, my machine is only 55T but can comfortably fold 400mm odd in 1/2 MS but with the 300mm of hardox it could hardly bow it until i warmed it up to nearly a straw colour.
its hard stuff to fold, for the likes of my outfit anyways.
 

tinman

Member
Location
Ulster
just to add a bit of my limited but always learning knowledge,
re drilling it, from memory hardox 500 is about 50 rockwell c, HSS tooling is grand up to about 40 rc, 45 is workable but 50rc is into dodgy teritory, Again from memory your HSS drill is about 70 odd rc so you get the idea.
your into solid carbide from there and above, not cheap tooling and altho it will drill nearly anything its only to be used in fixed drilling application like a mill or such.
you might get away with a good quality coated drill but i cant guarantee it,
work hardening is going to be one of your enemy's.
speeds and feeds when your there are somewhat of a minefield and the biggest downside is you wont get any warning until its too late, and at that point your going to be down a right few quid for your drill which unless you are in a great way of going to be able to sharpen it you've just acquired a round paper weight.
im open to correction on any of that info mind.

i heated my bit up and punched it, it was fine for what i wanted to do at the time.
you could chance a carbide tipped drill, or you could sharpen up a masonry drill to do the job but that's not a simple job either.

how big a hole are we talking here or is it just a general question.
 
Last edited:

Shovelhands

Member
Location
Sunny Essex
just to add a bit of my limited but always learning knowledge,
re drilling it, from memory hardox 500 is about 50 rockwell c, HSS tooling is grand up to about 40 rc, 45 is workable but 50rc is into dodgy teritory, Again from memory your HSS drill is about 70 odd rc so you get the idea.
your into solid carbide from there and above, not cheap tooling and altho it will drill nearly anything its only to be used in fixed drilling application like a mill or such.
you might get away with a good quality coated drill but i cant guarantee it,
work hardening is going to be one of your enemy's.
speeds and feeds when your there are somewhat of a minefield and the biggest downside is you wont get any warning until its too late, and at that point your going to be down a right few quid for your drill which unless you are in a great way of going to be able to sharpen it you've just acquired a round paper weight.
im open to correction on any of that info mind.

i heated my bit up and punched it, it was fine for what i wanted to do at the time.
you could chance a carbide tipped drill, or you could sharpen up a masonry drill to do the job but that's not a simple job either.

how big a hole are we talking here or is it just a general question.
Holes would only need to be 8-10mm

I’ve got a fair bit to do before I get to actually making or having anything made up, as I want to change/upgrade the spinner deck entirely. That means pretty much starting with a blank sheet of paper.
I was hoping to just get off the shelf items to use as the vanes, but I’m using some homemade ones at the moment, and they are working well, if a bit on the soft side, so I’m on the right track I think. But it will probably mean fabricating my own vanes in the future, hence the questions really.

Although this whole Hardox thing really does interest me, I’ve just never had the opportunity to use it. But you never know.....
 
Drilling Hardox 500 is not difficult you don't need tungsten carbide it's much better to use armour piercing drills. I regularly drill from 8mm to 35mm with no issues but you will need to keep them sharp. I use spade drills on Hardox 400 for holes up to 61mm as they saves piloting, they do spade drill tips for 500 but Iv'e never tried them, as tinman said high speed drills will not cope too well on 400 but you can get lucky.
I use tipped cutters when milling which work well on 500.
You need a different mind set when fabricating with Hardox as your weld will only be 1/3 of the strength of the steel. It would be better if you cut slots in the main dish so that you can weld your vanes both above and below the spinning disc.
Hardox 500 needs to have a bend radius of up to 10 x the thickness of the plate and 400 6 x, it springs back a lot and it takes a lot of power.
 

4755dave

Member
Location
Suffolk
Hardox is ok to drill with normal bits once flame heated locally to pretty much cherry red and cooled naturally. Pre heat to weld. Yes buffering stuff to bend. If it's for a fabrication you may be better off with welded. There are several grades 300.400.500.600. The harder the more brittle. 600 is hardest
 
Yes you can heat up the spots where you want to drill and also when you want to bend it if you need a sharp bent.
Pennine Ploughing Hardox 300 is probably only available from swedish steel, it sounds like an annealed 400 which is the sort of thing they put on there web site but may only be available as a special order.
400 and 450 are available from most profilers they are lower carbon than 500 and easily fabricated.
I only stock 6mm in 500 but I do keep 5mm in 400. If your local profiler cant help you can try IMS in Birmingham or A J Marshall near York. You should expect to pay around £1500 per ton on thinner plate but could be more on small orders.
You wont need to pre-heat thinner plate and to be honest I never pre-heat.
 

trev7530

Member
Location
Cornwall
Sorry to hijack the thread, could anyone recommend somewhere to by high strength box section, got a small project coming up and need to keep the weight down, based in Cornwall.
 

Shovelhands

Member
Location
Sunny Essex
What happened the spreader vanes Shovelhands ?
As with all my projects at the moment, time slipped by and I didn’t get chance to do anything about upgrading the spinner deck or getting new vanes made up in Hardox or something similar. So the mild steel experimental vanes, that I made up last year, have done my entire season! 😳 They had a little tweak in position to improve pattern, and I rebuilt the current motors, and altered the size of them as a bit of an experiment too, which worked out ok. That might actually be progress.......

I suppose one thing it has proved, is that I could probably knock up some mild steel vanes every year or two and they would be fine for what I do. But I hope to investigate some tougher alternatives at some point. And might have a go with some stainless, which would be better in some ways.
 
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