Strenx, A New Name For Strong Steel

Sweden’s SSAB, one of the world’s most familiar brands, recently acquired Finnish competitor Ruuki. At Intermat, it announced a new brand name for its combined high strength steel line, Strenx

Back in July 2014, Sweden's SSAB acquired Ruuki, from neighbouring Finland. SSAB is probably best known in the crane industry for its Weldox brand of high strengh steels, used in telescopic boom sections of almost all mobile cranes. Ruuki made its own high strength steel brands, Optim, which was used in applications including the telescoping tower of Manitowoc's unique GTK 1100.

Once the deal was approved, the two companies were fully integrated in September 2014. At Intermat, SSAB announced that the former Optim, Domex and Weldox brands of the two companies would be sold under a new brand name, Strenx.

Gregoire Parenty, executive vice president and head of market development, SSAB, explains that the merged company had 17 steel brands, over three main steel types: general steels, specific fit to purpose steels, and high strength steels.

The company will be keeping its well known Hardox brand ('the beast', in Parenty's words) for its abrasion resistant steel, used in applications like excavator and tunnel boring machine teeth.

"The second part is structural steel. We had Domex strip steel, Weldox plate, and Optim, from Ruuki, in plate and strip. We couldn't continue like that. So, we now group this 50 years experience in high strength steel, under the brand name Strenx. "But it's not just a marketing exercise. This brand comes with higher guarantees than all the three old brands, in terms of flatness, thickness tolerance and bendability."

The company will also be adopting a brand programme, similar to that already offered to approved Hardox customers, that includes training in using the steel and access to SSAB's technical expertise. The Strenx programme, 'My Inner Strength', was launched during Intermat.

The Strenx brand covers steels from 600Mpa up to 1300Mpa, the strongest steel on the market, used by Liebherr in the lower boom profile of the LTM 1300-6.1, LTM 1060-3.1, LTM 1160-5.2 and LTC 1050-3.1. The steels are available in thicknesses ranging from 0.7mm to 160mm.

The integration of Ruuki and SSAB will see the company following a new manufacturing strategy. Parenty says, "The idea of having more than one brand is also to have more flexibility, and the capacity to produce the steel everywhere.

"There will be no compromise on quality. Every mill will have to qualify [to produce steel under the Strenx brand]. Wherever we can, we will try to specialise mills in certain types of product, for better productivity, performance, and consistency. That's what customers appreciate."

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