R&D at Ovako is performed in networks specialized in steel manufacturing, metal working and product characteristics. Our cross-organizational networks bring together employees from various geographical and functional units, focused on developing materials, production processes and customer applications.
Aimed at optimizing the advantages and uses of steel, Ovako takes an active role in its customers’ R&D if possible. In partnerships with customers, Ovako strives to identify new application areas for the products or develop new products adapted to our customer’s needs. The development projects carried out together with customers also provide an opportunity to identify the future market needs in order to develop products that meet those needs.
Our research and development is performed in a three step process.
- Ovako identifies a need in the market, often in close partnership with a customer. Projects are initiated and run over the long or short term. Focus is always on end properties and applications.
- The development process begins. Ovako uses various methods of testing to ensure that the steel achieves the desired properties.
- A steel with better properties is ready to address the market. These properties might be higher cleanliness or improved mechanical properties. During this phase, it is important to educate customers as to how they can use the steel.
One example of our R&D is the Hybrid Steel® that was launched in 2017. Hybrid Steel is the result of a new alloying strategy that is used to create a steel with triple the tensile strength of conventional steel at elevated temperatures.
Final tempering is done at relatively low temperatures and there is very low distortion after heat treatment. This makes it possible for customers to substantially lower the cost of production steps or eliminate them entirely. For example, a component can be machined to its final dimension in a softer condition, followed by a simple heat treatment process to achieve full strength, which reduces complexity and costs.