High strength steel for lightness and strength

The Syncro racking system features an extremely modular design: each element can be used alongside or in combination with any other element to suit the size and layout of the van. This high degree of modularity makes it possible to design and install the perfect racking system for all possible needs. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed! But what makes Syncro van storage units and accessories really unique is the quality of the materials from which they are made: Syncro cabinets, drawer units, shelves and accessories are all designed and made at Francom S.p.A.’s own plant and HQ in San Zeno di Cassola in Northern Italy. Here at the heart of the Francom group, the very best raw materials have been selected over the years to ensure that every Syncro van racking component is as strong and as light as possible..

So what materials do offer the best in terms of high strength and low weight? Aluminium and High Strength Steel: the perfect combination

Syncro uses two materials to achieve the necessary characteristics and performance: aluminium and high strength steel. Of the two, high strength steel is used to make all the structural parts of Syncro’s van racking elements. Despite its light weight, high strength steel is extremely strong. All the structural parts in Syncro shelves, drawers and cabinets are made from this special steel, along with shelf and drawer frames, doors and accessory holders. Aluminium is used for internal parts like shelf and drawer dividers and cabinet doors, which do not have to support weight or withstand stress. For these parts, lightness is more important than strength.

What exactly does Syncro mean by strength?

For Syncro, strength means the ability to support heavy loads, withstand vibration, torsion and impact.

And lightness?

We define lightness as the quality of having the lowest possible weight to guarantee the necessary strength. Lighter van racking offers a number of benefits. For a start it does not reduce the vehicle’s load capacity as much as heavy racking. This in turn means that it saves on fuel consumption, makes the vehicle safer and more manoeuvrable, and reduces wear on the engine and transmission.

High strength steel: technical characteristics

Steel is an alloy of iron. It consists mainly of iron and carbon with small quantities of other elements to obtain the specific characteristics required by the manufacturer. In recent years, metallurgical research has led to the production of new kinds of iron alloy, defined as high strength steel. While remaining easy to work and weld, these special steels offer between 60 and 125% greater strength than “conventional” steels. When subjected to an identical load, a part in high strength steel deforms far less than the same part made from “normal” steel.

The graph shown above clearly illustrates the superiority of the high strength steel (HC420LA) used by Syncro compared to Peraluman aluminium when it comes to yield strength (the force necessary to deform the material) and fatigue limit (the point at which a part breaks).

Like other alloys of iron, steel is particularly resistant to cyclical stress. While parts made from aluminium and aluminium alloys have to be made thicker - and therefore heavier - to increase their fatigue limit, if steel parts are able to withstand a small number of stress cycles, they are generally able to maintain their shape and strength virtually indefinitely*.

What does the use of high strength steel mean for Syncro products?

  • Thinner sheet metalfor a start, and less weight as a consequence.
  • Stronger racking elements, meaning the ability to carry more tools, equipment and parts without exceeding the vehicle’s maximum load.
  • Better performance from all parts in terms of the stress resistance.
  • An extended working life from all components. In fact Syncro racking generally outlives the van!

*Based on the Wőhler curve or stress-life curve, which determines the resistance of materials to cyclical fatigue loads over time.