Steel for sustainable mechanical engineering 3 minutes spent reading

Steel for sustainable mechanical engineering

Volkmar Held
As a freelance writer, Volkmar Held reports for voestalpine on topics that move people. The content of his stories ranges from archaeometallurgy to future technologies.

Product sustainability is a guiding entrepreneurial principle at technology group voestalpine. With its wear-resistant, high and ultra-high-tensile durostat® and alform® steels, voestalpine assists prestigious manufacturers in the sustainable production of machinery with a long product service life.

Steel is the preferred material for construction machinery. It is supremely stable and highly resistant to weather conditions. Being almost 100% recyclable, steel is a leader in terms of sustainability. voestalpine customers are naturally demanding, and insist on materials which support their efforts to conserve resources. This explains their particular interest in the alform® and durostat® steels produced by the technology group voestalpine.

Steel fosters lightweight construction

The greater a vehicle’s load capacity in relation to its own weight, the more effective it is in everyday operation. Consequently, lighter, sustainably-produced, and extremely tough steels such as voestalpine alform® and durostat® play a role in conserving resources and protecting the environment. With their high sustainability rankings, paired with excellent performance in terms of robustness, they are used by leading manufacturers of cranes, commercial vehicles, and trough trailers. Their extreme toughness is a vital aspect of lightweight construction: parts such as crane booms can be manufactured using components with smaller wall thicknesses but which still offer the same levels of stability.



Greater production and application efficiency

Whether alform® or durostat®, the latest steel materials from voestalpine help reduce both consumption of natural resources and emissions. In the end, when used on a daily basis, lightweight construction technologies offer the same performance and excellent stability while consuming less energy. This efficiency gain also reduces associated emissions.

voestalpine high-strength steels make it possible to produce components which are almost as light as aluminium. But their manufacture consumes less than a quarter of the energy required to produce the same quantity of aluminium:

  • 5 GJ for a ton of aluminium;
  • 3 GJ for a ton of steel;
  • voestalpine consumes 17.3 GJ–i.e., a further 15% reduction–to produce a ton of steel.
    (GJ = Gigajoule)

Sustainable and environmentally-friendly

Sustainability is a key consideration at voestalpine, and not just in its own production processes. As a basic principle underlying its corporate strategy, sustainability is a factor throughout the company’s entire value chain. This includes cooperation with regional suppliers to ensure that the partner companies involved do not use any raw materials sourced from conflict regions, or have any association with child or forced labor.


"The SSCM (Sustainable Supply Chain Management) project ensures that our suppliers and partners are continuously reviewed according to a carefully established set of criteria. This is an important contribution to ensuring adherence to the high standards we have set."
voestalpine CEO Herbert Eibensteiner in the Corporate Responsibility Report 2019
Volkmar Held