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Special steels for outstanding machinability

Stronger competition, lower prices, tighter deadlines, and more stringent demands on the quality and safety of the parts to be made – these are the challenges of today’s markets and ones that the component manufacturing sector also has to overcome.

Being able to meet these challenges starts with the right choice of material. In the component manufacturing sector, higher productivity and lower process costs are the main factors that drive cost efficiency. With process costs accounting for around 85% of total costs, it makes sense to reduce processing costs by carefully choosing the best material for a specific manufacturing operation.

If machining requirements are the primary consideration, then the material has to be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Relatively low cutting forces at high rotational speeds coupled with low energy demands and long tool lives
  • Short-breaking chips that do not impede the machining process
  • A smooth machined surface with few inclusions.

Material selection and application areas

The alloy composition of Steeltec’s free-cutting steels have been carefully optimized to make them ideally suited for machining operations. Steeltec has also developed higher strength special steels with outstanding machinability characteristics. With short-breaking chips, extended tool lives and a high degree of uniformity of material properties across batches, these steels offer huge potential for designing optimized component manufacturing processes.

If you’re interested in working with materials whose chemical composition, mechanical properties or machinability have been optimized for your manufacturing process, then get in touch with us to learn more.

Potential for cost savings

Our high-strength special steel ETG® for demanding manufacturing processes.

ETG® bright steels can be used to replace a number of standard steels. This reduces logistics expenses and reduces the risk of confusion and complexity costs. At the same time, individual parts can be made smaller: They become lighter and less expensive.

ETG® steels open up unimagined possibilities in the design of manufacturing processes:
Additional operations such as quenching and tempering, straightening, grinding and deburring are eliminated, shorter machining times due to higher metal removal rates, longer tool life, reduced machine downtime, multi-machine operation and the possibility of running ghost shifts.

ETG® high-strength special steels as a substitute for standard steels

Thanks to the guaranteed yield strength over the entire dimensional range, the field of application for ETG® is wide. A number of standard steels can be replaced with ETG®. The decisive factor is the intended use. Significant weight and cost savings can be achieved through optimized dimensioning.

Comparison of parts costs

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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

Other Products


Relevant Products

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Relevant Products


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Will the part or component be subjected to particular large stresses?

Materials for highly stressed parts must not only be outstandingly machinable, but also withstand high loads. A typical load - for hydraulic components, for example - is dynamic stress. To withstand it, users need a steel with a good ratio of strength and toughness.

More about static and dynamic loading

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 large-scale 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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Free cutting steels

A wide range of products for your requirements

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Paolo Berti - Head of Customer Service Rolled Steel

Dirk Ochmann - Head of Customer Service Bright Steel