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High-toughness, machinable steels

From a physical point of view, shards show that a material is brittle and can only be plastically deformed to a small extent when exposed to energy. This contrasts with high toughness, which makes a material such as steel resistant to crack propagation and fracture. However, the material usually loses machinability in return. This is not the case with our steel grades.

High-toughness steels are the materials of choice for applications in which the steel has to withstand static loads and resist crack propagation and fracture. But high toughness normally restricts the ways in which the steel can be processed, because tough steels with their large elongation at fracture values are difficult to machine.

Bright steels for applications where toughness is key

But Steeltec’s high-strength and higher strength steels are different. In their as-delivered state, these steels already exhibit high toughness (and strength), as well as excellent machinability.

Steel grades from our HSX® family are ideal for applications where material toughness is crucial:

  • HSX® 90
  • HSX® 130
  • HSX® Z10
  • HSX® Z12

By selecting these steels, customers can manufacture components that are particularly light and compact, but still able to withstand high static loads.

Tensile strength vs. Elongation

Optimizing toughness and strength along the entire production chain

Optimizing the complex interplay between material strength and material toughness requires an advanced understanding of the chemical composition of steel. Our extensive range of analytical techniques allows us to monitor and control the composition and structure of the steel from the melt to the final stage of production to produce steels that are able to meet the demands of customer-specific applications. If a customer needs a steel with good forming properties and a high level of toughness, we make sure that the steel will comply with the hardness requirements after undergoing various processing steps.

In practice, this means that we adjust the microstructure of the steel during a controlled thermomechanical processing stage and then fine tune it by precisely controlling the temperature during the cooling phase. The result is a steel with a very uniform microstructure and the exact physical and mechanical properties specified by the customer.

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Individual steel consulting

Thanks to our deep understanding along the entire value chain, we can tailor our production precisely to your material requirements, thus contributing to your market success.

Your needs - your steel
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Cold formability



Chain manufacturing


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Yield strength

Low distortion


Dynamic loads

Additional processing

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Surface finishing



Quenching and tempering



Steel Groups


Fits Best

Free cutting steel Soft free cutting steel
Free cutting steel
Case hardening steel
Case hardening steel With lead
Case hardening steel Unalloyed case hardening steel
Cold heading steel
Chain steel
Construction steel
Quenched and tempered steel
Quenched and tempered steel Unalloyed quenched and tempered steel with lead
Cold heading steel SwissBain
ETG 88 High strength special steel
ETG 100 High strength special steel
HSX 90 High strength special steel
HSX 110 High strength special steel
HSX 130 High strength special steel
HSX Z10 High strength special steel
HSX Z12 High strength special steel
ETG 25 Cold heading steel
ESP 65 Case hardening steel
SwissCut Free cutting steel

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Relevant Products


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Will the part or component be machined?

Around 85% of the costs in parts manufacturing are attributable to process costs. It is therefore worthwhile to optimize these costs with the targeted use of materials. Steeltec free-cutting steels are optimized for machining. Steeltec has also developed high-strength special products with outstanding machining properties. Short chip breaking, longer tool life and high uniformity across batches open up new possibilities in the design of manufacturing processes.

More about machining

Will the part or component be processed asymmetrically?  

High dimensional stability and uniform machining behavior are decisive for an economical and plannable manufacturing process. The manufacturing costs per part are decisive, especially in high-volume production. Our low-distortion steels are designed to meet specified geometries and tolerances and minimize financial risk.

More about low-distortion steels

Will the part or component be subject to a cold-forming process?

The required properties - for example in terms of machinability, cold formability or weldability - can be precisely adjusted to customer specifications during the process. Thanks to very good cold forming properties, steels are formed into components, e.g. fasteners, by cold forming. Depending on the application requirements, they exhibit high strength and high durability. To achieve this, the materials must combine high initial strength with good formability. Special steels from Steeltec enable efficient and resource-saving production.

More about cold forming

Will an additional heat-treatment stage be carried out?

Thanks to in-depth chemical analysis, Steeltec is able to design materials in such a way that desired mechanical-technological component properties are achieved after heat treatment. This results in a wide range of high-quality steel designed to meet individual customer requirements. In the bright steel sector, we will be pleased to advise you on what needs to be taken into account in the case of additional hardening.

More about heat treatment

Will the part or component be welded?

Welding is particularly important for chains and structural grades, but also for applications such as the manufacture of wire baskets. Steeltec's rolled steels can be welded using various techniques. Welding requires materials that are alloyed. In addition, just as in bending, the steel needs a certain hardness, but it must be possible to machine it. And it must be possible to heat it without creating too much stress.

More about weldability

Our high-strength special steels

Optimized for machining

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Customized solutions

Optimized for your application

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Paolo Berti - Head of Customer Service Rolled Steel

Dirk Ochmann - Head of Customer Service Bright Steel