Mining and highway-construction vehicles, backhoes, and other earth-moving equipment rely on abrasion-resistant steel or components heat-treated for abrasion resistance. (PRNewsfoto/Tata Steel, Steel Warehouse)

Tata Steel and Steel Warehouse unveil a high-strength, low-alloy steel that’s suitable for welding

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Tata Steel is introducing a new high-strength, abrasion-resistant steel in North America in partnership with Steel Warehouse, the companies said in a joint release.

Suited for use on heavy equipment used in the mining, agriculture, construction, refuse, and recycling industries, Tata’s hot-rolled Valast® 450 steel is said to offer vehicle manufacturers a variety of advantages compared to conventional abrasion-resistant plate-steel products.

Gordon AuBuchon, Steel Warehouse’s executive vice president for product development, said Valast rolled-steel will be offered in lighter gauges and tighter tolerances than plate, allowing for lightweighting and cost savings.

A low-alloy steel suitable for welding, Valast will be available in widths of up to 81 inches, nearly 30 percent more than the maximum of 60 inches offered by many of Tata’s strip-steel competitors. Steel Warehouse also plans to introduce autogenous laser welding at its production facilities to provide Valast in custom widths and lengths not available anywhere else in the world, the release said.

Valast 450 steel on a temper-pass cut-to-length line at Steel Warehouse facilities in South Bend, Indiana. (PRNewsfoto/Tata Steel, Steel Warehouse)

“Valast provides our customers with an opportunity to reduce waste and improve efficiency,” said Glyn Martin, a technical support engineer at Tata Steel. “Because it’s a strip-steel product, Valast can be cut to any length needed, with the added benefit of having the greatest width available in the industry.”

Tata Steel is a large producer of steel, with 75,000 employees across five continents. Based in South Bend, Indiana, Steel Warehouse is a major U.S. supplier of steel-coil products, with 12 locations in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil.

Valast is especially suited for applications where strength and hardness are required. Dump and refuse trucks, mining and highway-construction vehicles, backhoes, and other earth-moving equipment, for example, all rely on abrasion-resistant steel or components heat-treated for abrasion resistance.

“Abrasion-resistant steels are subject to some of the toughest working environments imaginable,” AuBuchon said. “Valast 450 provides our customers with the strength and durability of an abrasion-resistant steel, while at the same time providing them with the quality, inventory management, and high-level of technical support they’ve come to expect from Steel Warehouse and our partners at Tata Steel.”

Steel Warehouse (, based in South Bend, Indiana, processes abrasion-resistant steel from Tata for use on mining, construction, and other heavy equipment. Its production lines provide custom lengths and exceptional surface quality, the release said.

In the United States, Steel Warehouse has facilities in Calvert, Alabama; Osceola, Arkansas; Rock Island, Illinois; Portage, and South Bend, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; Chattanooga, and Memphis, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company also has facilities in Monterrey, Mexico, and Paulinia, Brazil.

“We’ve had an excellent partnership with Steel Warehouse for more than 50 years and are very much looking forward to launching Valast 450 with them in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil this year,” said Tata’s Martin. “Similar launches are taking place in the U.K., Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. The response to date has been outstanding.”

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