Extreme performance: Steeltec equips customers with the steel of the future
An ultrafine steel microstructure and improved material properties without the need for expensive alloying elements or complex additional heat treatment regimes – that is what Steeltec’s Xtreme Performance (XTP®) Technology promises, and that is exactly what it delivers. Using this new technology, the bright steel producer Steeltec is able to modify standard steels to produce XTP®-treated steels with improved toughness and greater strength – two properties that normally run counter to one another. Steeltec – a company within the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group – has developed a manufacturing technology that is providing its customers with the steels they need to meet the challenges of the future. Steeltec has now tested and demonstrated the effectiveness of its XTP® Technology on 28 different steels in seven material groups.
Steels that have undergone Steeltec’s XTP® treatment exhibit significantly improved low-temperature toughness. Precipitation-hardened ferrite-pearlite steels can be used at temperatures down to -60 °C, while bainite steels can cope with temperatures as low as -100 °C. The low-temperature toughness of unalloyed steels can be improved by up to 30%. As a result, Steeltec has enhanced the safety performance of steel components in low-temperature applications. Strength and toughness are two properties that normally run counter to one another, but XTP® treatment not only improves the toughness of the treated steel, it also increases its strength. Compared with standard steels, XTP® steels also show greater formability, while retaining their ability to undergo numerous different types of processing or machining operations. Thanks to XTP® Technology, steel fabricators in a wide range of sectors can continue to use their preferred steels, knowing that the properties of these materials have now been optimized to meet the demands of specific manufacturing processes or applications. Steeltec’s customers also benefit from lower production costs as they no longer need to perform additional heat treatment stages or to invest in expensive, high-alloy steels, which can now be replaced by low-alloy XTP® steels offering the same performance advantages.
Thermomechanical process creates multifunctional steel
Launched in 2016, XTP® Technology is a carefully controlled thermomechanical steel treatment process that is unique in the steel market. By applying heat and mechanical force in a highly controlled manner, Steeltec is able to produce steel with an extremely homogeneous, fine-grained microstructure. The result is a multifunctional steel whose properties can be tailored exactly to meet a customer’s specific application requirements. The predictions made at the beginning of the original research project indicated that XTP® treatment would significantly improve the dynamic and mechanical properties of standard steels. These predictions have now been confirmed by tests carried out on 28 steels in seven material groups. XTP® Technology enables Steeltec to provide companies in a wide range of industries – from the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors to medical engineering – with the high-performance steels they need for their future success.