Cromax is a line of chrome-plated and nickel-chrome plated bars and tubes, primarily used as piston rods in hydraulic cylinders. Cromax offers a reduction of cost and capital required to enable a hydraulic cylinder to supply a specific force throughout its economic life.

Ovako’s approach is to ensure sufficient flexibility regarding delivery formats, lead times, logistics concepts etc, to be able to tailor the most cost- and capital-efficient solution for each client. Our understanding is that this offer is unique.

We offer a line of base steels, specifically developed with the operation and manufacturing process of hydraulic cylinder piston rods in mind. The surfaces of the rods are adapted to minimize the cost, yet fulfil the requirements for each application, even up to the most demanding ones.


Informative image: Hydraulic cylinders
Informative image: cromax steel bar

In order to maximise the value of our offering, we encourage our customers to think through each design in three simple steps:

Step 1 - What material should we use in order to minimise the cost of the rod?

The rule of thumb is to use the material with the lowest price per MPa yield strength while, at the same time, meeting manufacturing and safety parameters.

Step 2 - What surface will guarantee problemfree operation at minimum cost?

Firstly, set the requirements for the rod in the field considering time of exposure, compressive loading, corrosive environments and risk of impact damage. Secondly, determine if additional initial corrosion protection is needed for warehousing and transportation needs. Thirdly, select the combination of processes resulting in the lowest cost.

Step 3 - Which service level best minimises cost, capital and risk?

Starting from the lead time requirement of the cylinder-making process for a specific facility, work out the ideal logistics and delivery format. Ideally, there should be one independent back-up manufacturing route for each product to provide a comfortable margin of safety.


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Steel Navigator contains a selection of useful tools such as Material Data Sheets, Machining Calculator, Heat Treatment Guide, Piston Rod Predictor and more.

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Steel Navigator - Find the right steel for your application