Using lessons learned from the development of safety-critical steel for the rail and oil industries, Tata Steel developed a similar solution for steel needed for wheel rim manufacturers. The new steel grade, called DD13WR, allows manufacturers to form, flash weld and cold roll the steel with less chance of splitting and rim failure.
Typically, the wheel rim manufacturing process includes a number of steps that put high stresses on the steel during production. The failure of welds and splitting results in an increased need for manual inspection and either significant reworking to remove the defect or scrapping of the whole wheel.
Photo courtesy of Tata Steel
Scientists at Tata Steel realised defects seen during tractor wheel manufacture were similar to those seen by the company in both rail flash-butt welds and tube high frequency induction (HFI) fusion welding. Tata Steel was able to use its experience and expertise in these other product areas and apply what it had learnt.
The new steel grade has now been proven through a series of customer production-line trials conducted on numerous different lines with positive results. The new grade will be made at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in South Wales and supplied in either coil form or processed plate via Tata Steel’s distribution facilities in the UK and mainland Europe.