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SSAB Special Steels

SSAB Special Steels

Global steel supplier and service partner in Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T) and Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS)


SSAB Special Steels is the global market leader in high-strength steels. The division’s wide product portfolio includes a number of unique steel grades. The Hardox brand has the highest awareness of all brands in the steel market. The business model allows for close collaboration with large OEMs, as well as with smaller and mid-sized customers through a global organization which includes local stocks, technical customer support, engineering and processing services. This more advanced approach helps to differentiate SSAB from most other larger steel companies.

SSAB Special Steels is responsible for production of Q&T Steels in Oxelösund (Sweden), as well as for sales of Q&T Steels and AHSS made in Mobile, Alabama (USA), Raahe (Finland) and Borlänge (Sweden). In total, there are nine SSAB production lines globally that can produce high-strength steels, which provides for flexibility and ability to grow volume.  

Fast facts

Number of employees: Approximately 2,800
Sales in 2017: SEK 16,053 million
Share of SSAB Group's total sales: 22%
Share of SSAB Group's total EBITDA: 26%
Head of SSAB Special Steels: Per-Olof Stark, EVP
Steel Shipments 2017: 1.2 million tonnes



SSAB Special Steels is a leading developer and manufacturer of wear, structural, protection and tool steels.

  • World’s widest product portfolio
  • Close collaboration and joint projects with customers result in more highly paced development and increased competitiveness
  • Well-known and highly-respected product brands
  • Long-standing customer relations
  • Competitive lead-times and service on a global scale
  • Approximately 80 own stocks locations serving more than 130 countries
  • A unique combination of expertise regarding the development of steels, design and know-how regarding applications


Strategy and priorities

SSAB Special Steels aims to be the global leader in wear, structural, protection and tool steels, as well as in related value-added services.

Strategic priorities:

  • Focus on safety in all parts of the division
  • Maintain position as innovation leader with unique product and service portfolio
  • Expand the Hardox Wearparts network and SSAB Shape concept
  • Work closely with potential and existing customers to upgrade to high-strength steels
  • Accelerate growth by upgrading in new segments and new markets 
  • Grow the high-strength bars and tubes business


Customers and end-users

SSAB Special Steels customers represent both the end-user and machine construction sectors in branches such as materials handling, heavy transport and all forms of lifting. A shared goal is to make lighter, stronger and more durable products that create value through higher payloads or a longer service life and thus drive the sustainability of the products and their usage.

SSAB Special Steels has one of the widest product and service portfolios in the market, combined with deep knowledge of steel properties and performance. Close contact with end-users enables SSAB Special Steels to work together with equipment manufacturers to create added value through the development of new products.

Examples of applications for special steels:

High-strength structural steels:

  • Mobile cranes (booms, chassis and support legs)
  • Truck-mounted cranes
  • Aerial work platforms
  • Chassis for trailers and trucks
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Offshore (selected components such as jack-up rigs)


Wear steels:

  • Dumber bodies for both off-road and on-road use
  • Buckets
  • Containers
  • Stationary mining equipment such as crushers
  • Recycling equipment
  • Wear parts to several segments and applications

Protection steels:

  • Vehicles for safe transportation of people  and valuables
  • Protection for buildings


Tool steels:

  • Molds
  • Tool holders
  • Axles

Main customer segments and applications:

  • Heavy transport: Bodies and trailers
  • Construction machinery: Dumpers, loaders and cranes
  • Material handling: Crushers, buckets and conveyors
  • Agricultural and forest machines: Cranes, grabs and soil cultivation equipment
  • Workshops for the manufacture of spare parts


Products and services

SSAB Special Steels is responsible for all SSAB’s Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T) and hot-rolled Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) with yield strengths from 690 MPa and above. This steel can be further classified into high-strength structural steels, wear-resistant steels, protection steels and tool steels.


  • Hardox is the leading brand of wear steels. It offers a unique combination of hardness and toughness, which in turn enables lighter, more durable structures for increased payload and longer service life 
  • Strenx is SSAB’s high-strength structural steel product brand. Its high strength combined with good impact strength and forming properties enables strong, lighter structures for increased payloads
  • Raex is a distributor brand for wear steel designed to meet standard demands on the market
  • Toolox is a prehardened tool steel available as plate and bars, with very good machinability
  • Armox and Ramor are protection plate with properties designed especially for the protection of life and property


SSAB Services:
As a business, SSAB Services focuses on providing services to heavy transport machine builders and the after-market business. SSAB Services is reported as part of SSAB Special Steels and aims to develop the Hardox WearParts network and to facilitate the usage of high-strength steels by further promoting the SSAB Shape concepts.


  • Hardox Wearparts is a network of companies for the production of wear parts and just-in-time repair services to end-users. Our network is represented across more than 80 countries and consists of approximately 360 companies, 16 of which SSAB has an ownership interest in. Hardox Wearparts provide spare parts and advice to the local aftermarket in for example, the mining, quarrying, infrastructure, construction, steel, agriculture and recycling sectors.
  • SSAB Shape combines our premium steel products with engineering and processing services offered through SSAB’s own Shape centers and an independent worldwide network of plate processing suppliers. This is how we facilitate the use of AHSS to our end-users so they are in position to take full advantage of our product performance.

General market conditions and demand

After several years of tough market conditions, the most important segments driving demand for SSAB Special Steels have gradually improved during 2017, including the construction industry, lifting and mining segments. 

Customer demand for lighter and more sustainable products is driving development toward increased use of high-strength steels. SSAB steels offer the possibility to build lighter products with a longer lifecycle in a way that reduces component wear and lowers fuel consumption, increases lifting performance and enables higher payloads. Market share of high-strength steels is increasing in all markets, although the penetration rate in emerging markets is considerably lower than in mature markets. To increase the penetration rate, upgrading customers’ applications to high-strength steels is  facilitated by technical support functions available on all markets. 

Market areas and market share

SSAB Special Steels

  • Is represented in most of the global market. Market shares vary greatly depending on products and geography. The highest market share is in Q&T steels
  • Has a strong market position in main customer segments such as construction machinery, heavy transport and the aftermarket business
  • Focuses on growing the total high-strength steel market through continuous work on upgrading
  • Has about 50% of its sales in Europe and almost 20% in North America
  • Considers Latin America, Africa and Asia important regions for future growth


International steel product manufacturers such as Dillinger Hütte, NLMK Clabecq, Voestalpine, ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Tata Steel Europe, JFE and Nucor.