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Case-hardening steels – high case hardness and a tough inner core

Case-hardened steel is used in particular when high internal toughness and significantly greater surface hardness are required - for gears, shafts and bolts.

According to the EN ISO 683-3 and DIN EN 10277-4 standards, case-hardening steels typically have a carbon content of less than 0.22%. Steeltec’s case-hardened steels have a characteristically hard surface shell but retain a tough inner core. We can provide both unalloyed or low-alloy case-hardening steels.

Unalloyed case-hardening steels (e.g. C15R as per EN ISO 683-3) are used in automotive manufacturing and in the general mechanical engineering sector for parts such as hubs, shafts and levers that are subject to relatively low stresses. By carefully controlling their composition, alloyed case-hardening steels (e.g. 16MnCrs5 as per EN ISO 683-3) can be used for the fabrication of components requiring a medium to high level of surface hardness combined with a tough inner core. Examples of this type of component include highly stressed gear wheels and control elements in automotive and aircraft construction. Steeltec’s temperature-controlled rolling process allows us to supply customers with Bosch-compliant 16MnCrS5 steel with an almost pure ferritic-pearlitic microstructure.

Product range

  • Wire rod in coils: D: 5,5 -50,0 mm (round)
  • Wire rod in coils: D: 17,7 -42,5 mm (hexagonal)
  • Bars in bundles: D: 16,0 -66,0 mm (round)
  • Bars in bundles: D: 17,7 -62,0 mm (hexagonal)

You can order your products in the following finishing options of your choice:

Wire rod

  • Untreated
  • Thermomechanically treated

Steel bars

must meet high requirements for straightness and absence of surface or internal defects.

  • Untreated
  • Rolled under normalizing conditions
  • Straightened / cut
  • Crack tested
  • Ultrasonically tested
  • Demagnetised
  • Material identification tested

Systematic checks throughout the production process guarantee a consistently high steel quality.

Examples of available grades

  • 20MnCrB5
  • 16MnCrPb5
  • 16NiCrS4Pb
  • C15R+Pb

ESP 65 was developed as a special case-hardening steel for state-of-the-art processing technology:

ESP 65 is a special case-hardening steel that was developed for use with modern machining technologies. ESP 65 is the case-hardening steel from Steeltec that can help you rationalize your production processes, improve product quality and generate long-term cost savings. The advantages of using ESP 65 really come to the fore when turned parts that require substantial amounts of machining or that have an asymmetric geometry need to be manufactured cost efficiently. Its excellent machinability results in shorter processing times and longer tool lives.Steeltec adjusts the structure of the steel to produce a a case-hardening steel with a very uniform and homogeneous microstructure. The result: lower process costs and increased productivity. Our case-hardening steels are used to manufacture spindles and gear parts for power drills, angle grinders and other power tools, as well as mirror adjusters, pump components and shafts for the automotive sector.

Product range

ESP 65 is produced as bar steel in the size range ø 6 to 80 mm

ProcessSize range mmTolerance
drawn +C6 – 80h9
peel +SH18 – 80h11
ground +SL6 – 80≥ IT6
  • Colour coding end face: nut brown
  • Bar lengths: standard 3 m, Manufacturing lengths: 3 – 6 m
  • End finish: Standard finish Ø ≤ 65 mm is chamfered on one side and pointed on one side. End machining according to special specification on request.
  • Special tolerances on request

Chemical & mechanical properties

Chemical composition

Melt analysis % by weight (EN 10277)




Piece analysis and melt analysis may vary according to EN 10277-4

Mechanical properties

Proof stressRp0,2N/mm2≥ 300≥ 300
Tensile strengthRmN/mm2500 – 740500 – 630
Ultimate elongationA5%≥ 12≥ 13


Data sheet ESP 65
Brochure ESP 65

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Paolo Berti - Head of Customer Service Rolled Steel

Dirk Ochmann - Head of Customer Service Bright Steel