SSAB Special Steels
Global steel supplier and service partner in Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T) and Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS)
SSAB Special Steels’ wide product portfolio includes a number of unique steel grades. Hardox – our global brand of wear steels – has the highest awareness of all brands in the steel market. Through close collaboration, we help our customers to utilize our products in the best possible way to create new, innovative steel solutions and applications.
Employees, approximately: 3,900
Revenue in 2021: 23,510 million SEK
Head of SSAB Special Steels: Johnny Sjöström, EVP
Steel shipments in 2021: 1.5 million tonnes
550 Hardox Wearparts members
Present in more than 115 countries
SSAB Special Steels is the global leader in high-strength steels and is represented in markets in Europe, the Americas, APAC, the Middle East and Africa. About 50% of sales are in Europe and 20% in North America. SSAB defines the special steel market as hot-rolled products with a yield strength of 690 MPa and above. The total market is estimated to be around 5 million tonnes and, since demand grows structurally, it therefore outperforms demand growth for standard steel.
Requirements and demand for improved material and energy efficiency, as well as for productivity, are important drivers leading to the growing use of high-strength steels, which provide advantages in the form of stronger, lighter and more durable steel solutions. The penetration of high-strength steels is increasing in all markets, as customers upgrade their steel usage from standard to high-strength steels. In emerging markets, including Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, where the use of high-strength steels is still relatively low, the market potential for high-strength steels is even higher than in mature markets like Europe and North America.
SSAB Special Steels aims to further strengthen its leading position in high-strength steels as well as in related value-added services. SSAB is the largest producer of high-strength steels with an estimated global market share of 25% and with almost 3 times more volumes sold than our closest competitor. Since 2000, SSAB Special Steel´s shipments have increased by an average of around 8% a year, outperforming the general steel market. Structural growth is generated by the needs of manufacturers and end-users for higher productivity and better sustainability performance in machinery and equipment. Upgrading components to more advanced steel enables weight reduction and extended service life.
Development of new products and applications often takes place in close cooperation with customers. As early as possible in the development of a new product – be it a tipper, a chute or a crane – SSAB’s engineers work together with the customer in developing solutions that best utilize the properties of each steel grade. We not only sell to service centers and large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) but our unique global sales network enables us to reach also small and mid-size customers in all corners of the world. This network includes own stock locations, local sales force as well as technical support.
To further develop the channels to the market, SSAB Special Steels is expanding the Hardox Wearparts network as well as SSAB Services. Hardox Wearparts is a network of mainly independent companies offering wear parts and just-in-time repair services to end-users in the local aftermarket in the mining, quarrying, recycling and construction sectors. SSAB Services focuses on providing products and services to machine builders and the after-market business. This strategy allows SSAB to maintain a high service level in smaller and fragmented markets, and also to gain exposure to end-users’ operating expenditures, which has a stabilizing effect on sales over the business cycle. This has proven to be a successful strategy, not only to increase the sales volume, but also to drive further upgrading to harder and stronger steels in line with our vision. This ability is continuously developed to further improve our position for the future.
Growing the volume of high-strength steels is key in the overall objective of the SSAB Group to improve the product mix. During the year, the responsibility for the Mobile plant in the US was transferred to SSAB Special Steels as a step to accelerate growth in high-strength steels. By 2026, when the steel mill in Oxelösund has been converted to an electric arc furnace (EAF) and the production of sponge iron using HYBRIT technology has started, SSAB Special Steels will be able to offer fossil-free high-strength steel products. There are currently several initiatives ongoing with customers to explore the benefits for both parties as well as for end-users to go for fossil-free steel, once available.
SSAB Special Steels’ main end customer segments include manufacturers of heavy transport, construction machinery and material handling including mining and recycling. SSAB Special Steels works in close collaboration with large OEMs, as well as with smaller and mid-sized customers through a global organization. Examples of customer applications include booms and chassis for mobile cranes, tipper bodies for trailers, and buckets for construction and mining machinery. We share a goal with our customers to make lighter, stronger end-products with better lifting capacity, higher payloads, longer service life and lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Main customer segments and applications:
High-strength structural steels:
SSAB Special Steels has the widest product portfolio on the market, combined with deep knowledge of steel properties and performance. SSAB Special Steels is responsible for all SSAB’s Q&T and hot-rolled AHSS with yield strengths of 690 MPa and above. These products can further be divided into structural high-strength steels, wear steels, protection steels and tool steels. SSAB Special Steels’ product portfolio includes a number of brands and product lines, each of which has its own unique characteristics and target applications, and comes in a range of grades and dimensions:
SSAB Services, a business unit within SSAB Special Steels, focuses on providing products and services to machine builders and the after-market business. It aims to develop the Hardox® Wearparts network and to facilitate the usage of high-strength steels by further promoting the SSAB Shape concept. SSAB’s technical support is a key element in our service offering and has a strong local presence worldwide.
ArcelorMittal, Dillinger, Voestalpine, Nucor, Nippon, ThyssenKrupp, NLMK Clabeq.