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Solar farm mounting structure, frame and backrails

Product advice on steels to be used for:
Important specification
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Strength
  • Formability
  • Weldability

Solar farms manufacturing requires steels with high mechanical properties and corrosion resistance.

High Strength Low Alloy steels (HSLA) are characterised by their low content of both carbon and micro-alloying elements. This gives HSLA steels outstanding functional properties, such as weldability and coatability. The hardening achieved by controlled internal purity and fine grain size structure ensures excellent mechanical strength. HSLA combines improved weldability with good formability. The narrow variation margins for their mechanical properties make it easy to shape the steel (presses or automated lines). They also have good fatigue and impact resistance.

HSLA (our recommended grades are HX340LAD+ZM, HX380LAD+ZM, HX420LAD+ZM, HX460LAD+ZM, HX500LAD+ZM) combined with Magnelis® corrosion protection is the best offer for this application. The use of Structural steel grades (from S320GD to S550GD) is also an option, but bringing less advantage.

Magnelis® is a flat carbon steel product coated on both sides with a zinc-aluminium-magnesium alloy. This alloy, composed of 93.5% zinc, 3.5% aluminium and 3% magnesium, is applied by means of a continuous hot dip galvanising process. This optimum chemical composition has been selected to provide the best results in terms of corrosion resistance.

Magnelis® ZM310 (25 μm) is the most used coating in solar applications and offers a guarantee of up to 25 years. ArcelorMittal recently developed Magnelis® ZM430 which has a thicker (35 μm) coating. ZM430 offers the best possible protection in more aggressive soils and in areas subject to higher abrasion.

Thanks to ArcelorMittal International, Magnelis® can be utilised in solar projects wherever they are located in the world. SP Sitac, an international approval and certification body for the construction sector, has tested Magnelis® and qualified the coating for use in C5-M (marine) environments. This enables Magnelis® to be utilised in coastal areas with high salinity.

Depending on the environment, hot dip galvanized heavy coatings can be used. They provide a long-lasting surface aspect. A coating mass  ≥ 600g/sqm is typically required for this application, but can vary depending the environment.

With its state-of-the-art technology, ArcelorMittal is the first steel company in Europe to measure coating thickness to the smallest deviation. This ensures precision and homogeneity throughout the coated coil.

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