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voestalpine AG
voestalpine on hot ice

voestalpine on hot ice

The speed skating world championships once again offered our high-speed steel a widely recognized stage. Things heated up when BÖHLER steel and voestalpine Precision Strip’s bimetal strip demonstrated their world-class performance in Heerenveen, the Netherlands.

Speed skating competition
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The speed skating world championships in Heerenveen featured a very tight performance edge. And our steel products were there.

The “Evos” are coming.

High-performance sports are only possible with high-tech equipment. To ensure that his customers have the best sports equipment, Johan B. obtains the steel for high-performance blades from our voestalpine companies. The Dutch cult skate manufacturer of the EvoSkate and Skate-Tec brands has full confidence in the materials he buys: “BÖHLER is a reliable partner with direct contacts in Amsterdam and Austria. I never have to worry about that.” Every year, the company in the Dutch province of Drenthe ships around 3,000 skates. And they are awaited. Three quarters of the best speed skaters on the 111 meters long Shorttrack track were wearing EvoSkates made of voestalpine BÖHLER steel.

Group photo with speed skating blades made of BÖHLER steel.
3,000 skates a year: business partner Yanlin S., Corné B. from voestalpine High Performance Metals Benelux, and Johan B., founder of the EvoSkate and Skate-Tec brands.

Harte Arbeit am Erfolg.

The skate manufacturer also has to work hard for the athletes who race on tracks at speeds up to 60 km/h. Johan B. lists the different production stations used to make Shorttrack blades:

  • Grinding of the steel plate from 1.5 to 1.25 millimeters, then smoothing and hardening
  • Grinding to 1.1 millimeter thickness
  • Laser cutting the shape of the plate, followed by pre-grinding and smoothing
  • Hardening and polishing
  • Gluing blades into aluminum tubes

One of the speed skaters at this year’s World Championships was the Canadian national champion Ivanie Blondin. She competed in the team sprint and the 1500 and 3000 meter events with blades made of BÖHLER steel.

Speed skating blades made of BÖHLER steel
Speed skating blades made of BÖHLER steel.

Doppelt fährt besser.

A voestalpine product that makes the hearts of speed skaters and figure skaters beat faster also comes from the Ybbstal in Lower Austria: the Bohlerstrip brand of bimetal. Actually, this voestalpine Precision Strip GmbH product is for heavy-duty saws. To meet the special challenges of this industry, extremely hard high-speed steel is welded onto a more flexible spring strip steel—a bimetallic strip is born.

Bimetal strap ready for dispatch to well-known skate manufacturers.
Bimetal strap ready for dispatch to well-known skate manufacturers.

A sharp niche.

The edges of the blades must be razor-sharp and precisely sharpened. The only 7 millimeters thick strip made of high-speed steel is ideal for this job. The Böhler plant uses a longitudinal laser welding process to combine this strip with a tough and strong high-speed steel to form bimetal strip. This is an ideal combination for top sporting performance, as marketing and innovation expert Axel M. knows: “Many manufacturers, especially from the Netherlands, buy the steel for their blades from us. This is a niche product for us,” he remarks, referring to the relatively small quantities supplied. But it is a product that can be used in competitions.


Gold with blades made of BÖHLER steel
Ivanie Blondin (CAN): second place in the mass start, gold in the team sprint and in the team pursuit.
Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (CAN): silver in the team pursuit and World Cup winner in the team sprint.
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voestalpine AG

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Die voestalpine ist ein weltweit führender Stahl- und Technologiekonzern mit kombinierter Werkstoff- und Verarbeitungskompetenz. Die global tätige Unternehmensgruppe verfügt über rund 500 Konzerngesellschaften und -standorte in mehr als 50 Ländern auf allen fünf Kontinenten. Sie notiert seit 1995 an der Wiener Börse. Mit ihren Premium-Produkt- und Systemlösungen zählt sie zu den führenden Partnern der Automobil- und Hausgeräteindustrie sowie der Luftfahrt- und Öl- & Gasindustrie und ist darüber hinaus Weltmarktführer bei Bahninfrastruktursystemen, bei Werkzeugstahl und Spezialprofilen. Die voestalpine bekennt sich zu den globalen Klimazielen und verfolgt mit greentec steel einen klaren Plan zur Dekarbonisierung der Stahlproduktion.