Keeping Our Eye on Metal
Steel is the backbone and the foundation of our physical, tangible business. While there is a limited market for aluminum yard ramps, our select manufacturers craft our yard ramps mostly with steel that’s been forged to specification.
The advantages are many, including a larger weight capacity, stability, and longevity of use, all of which contribute to the singlemost important factor: safety for our customers’ team members.
What happens when engineers devise a better mousetrap? In the coming years, we might actually see improved metals that comprise our inventory.
First, a brief primer on how the industry measures strength. There are four categories here:
- Compressive Strength—how the metal holds up to being condensed.
- Tensile Strength—the opposite of compression; how the metal withstands being pulled or stretched.
- Yield Strength—reaction to bending or other “unnatural” external shaping.
- Impact Strength—just as you’d expect: how the metal reacts to being hit.
The strongest metal known is vibranium, though it exists only in the Marvel superhero universe (i.e., Captain America’s shield), and The Yard Ramp Guy doesn’t buy, rent, or sell fictional inventory.
Which leaves us with steel alloy as the de facto metal in our industry.
And that’s where the better mousetrap might one day step into the picture.
The University of Warwick’s website has an entire section devoted to “Steels Processing Group Projects.” It is, to us, head-spinning in complexity. What we glean from it, though, is steel being manipulated at the molecular level.
Summarizing for us in a graspable manner, MetalMiner states, “The research center at The University of Warwick has managed to create advanced, low-density steels that are stronger, lighter and more flexible than conventional steels.”
Stronger. Lighter. More flexible. Each of these informs the current ceilings of compressive, tensile, yield, and impact strength.
In practical terms, one day in the near future our customers could benefit from an easier movement of their yard ramps into position. For turnkey services, our crews could have a smoother load and off-load. For transportation, a lighter yard ramp translates into reduced use of fuel for the delivery vehicle.
We’re keeping a cautiously optimistic eye on the future of steel.