The 18th International MiningWorld Russia Exhibition for the Mining and Processing of Metals and Minerals, held in Moscow this week, was used by Russian steel company NLMK as the launch pad for a range of new premium steel products.

Quard steel, which is a thick plate, low-alloy, abrasion-resistant product, and Quend steel, a high-strength structural steel, are both designed for use in the manufacture of construction and mining equipment and machinery.

A press release issued by NLMK stated that the company is currently in negotiation with several major Russian machine building companies for the implementation of steel processing methods using both Quard and Quend steel plates.

The main advantage of using Quend and Quard is weight reduction without losing strength, which means improved operational and environmental performance, claims NLMK.

Ilya Gushchin, NLMK's vice president for sales, said that the company was offering premium products to domestic buyers and in doing so was demonstrating how the company's European and Russian sites were co-operating successfully. "By offering wear-resistant steel to Russian machine builders for the manufacture of component parts, the company is helping to increase the competitiveness of domestic machine building," he said.

Quard and Quend has been sold successfully in Europe, North America, the Far East and the CIS, claims NLMK, for the past three years. Typical customers include Liebherr, Caterpillar, Volvo, JCB, BYG and Metso.

The two steel products are produced out of slab supplied by NLMK's Lipetsk production site using a technique involving quenching and tempering at NLMK's Clabecq facility in Belgium.

Processing lines for Quard and Quend production were launched in 2011 and represent an investment cost of over EUR100 million.

Quard is designed for use in the manufacture of construction and mining equipment while Quend is used in the construction of bulk vehicle frames, bulk lifting and handling machinery, vehicle trailers and other machinery where high structural strength is critical.