IQ-Steel® is a smart solution for designing reliable components that can take the strain from higher and more complex loads. This ultra clean steel is optimized for fatigue strength by a strict control of steel cleanness and offers uniform and excellent properties in all loading directions.

Developed from BQ-Steel®, IQ-Steel® is an isotropic steel with properties that match remelted steels. Based on thousands of examinations of the effects of defects on fatigue performance, the metallurgy of IQ-Steel® is purer and far more consistent than conventional grades.

IQ-Steel clean steel

Designed to enable higher standards of finish

As IQ-Steels contain smaller and more fragmented inclusions, it can handle much higher mechanical forces in all directions than conventional steels. This enables the production of lighter, slimmed down components like gears, bearings, and other critical parts. The steels enable our customers to achieve new design solutions and implement higher standards of finished product performance.

IQ-Steels are already well established in high pressure automotive applications. Modern diesel engines, with high and cyclic injection pressures, have proven to be an ideal application. Transmission components are another emerging area of strong interest.

Advantages of IQ-Steel®

  • 40–100 percent higher bending fatigue strength in simple load cases, depending on steel used today.
  • Up to 130 percent higher bending fatigue strength in multiaxial load cases, depending on steel used today.
  • Facilitates major design changes on next-generation end-user systems.

Based on decades of fatigue research, Ovako has developed a detailed understanding of the correlation between defect size and fatigue strength performance. The elongated inclusions have an important impact on the mechanical properties of any component by destabilizing the steel metallurgy, compromising fatigue strength and initiating cracking. Inclusions must therefore be minimized. In contrast, IQ-Steels, with exceptional cleanness, are designed to perform differently to conventional steels. With a higher degree of purity, smaller and much less elongated inclusions, IQ-Steels exhibit better isotropic behaviour after rolling. They can be used to manufacture more reliable components with uniform and excellent properties, which handle movement in all directions, not only in the rolling direction.


Unic x Ovako

Because motor sport engineers and drivers all know each other and share stories, having satisfied customers is the best advertisement UNIC can have, says Karlsson. His ability to optimize his designs with IQ-Steel has enabled him to build a quality product and earn the trust of his drivers.

Moreover, as cars of the future put more demands on the performance and weight of transmissions – as indicated by current trends in electric car development – Ovako will be in a position to benefit from the growth in new and exciting markets. Ovako will also be able help car manufacturers develop stronger and lighter transmission systems.

Increased lifetime of the component

Fatigue and its effects on the lifecycles of steel components are pressing concerns for Ovako customers. The accelerating drive for improved performance must be matched by the properties of the material. IQ-Steel® provides opportunities because, in contrast to conventional grades, it can handle higher and more complex strains and loads over longer periods. This a further reason why some of the world’s most quality oriented original equipment manufacturers already use IQ-Steel®. In fact, through the combination of the IQ-Steel® properties and an alloying to optimize surface structure after carburizing, it is sometimes possible to eliminate processes such as shot peening.

The IQ process can be applied to all our steel grades. Ovako can advise customers on how to best implement IQ-Steel® for components in demanding applications.


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Steel Navigator - Find the right steel for your application