NLMK Lipetsk has mastered the production of a new grade of high-strength cold-rolled steel, a unique product for the Russian market. Its properties enable the production of lighter components while maintaining the same strength of the material, meaning NLMK steel can replace imported steel in the automotive and metalworking industries. NLMK delivered the first batch of such steel to Specta, a leading manufacturer of steel packaging straps.

High-strength cold-rolled steel is used in the production of safety critical car body components, among other applications. For instance, the strength properties of such steel ensure high-quality consumer characteristics of other products, like steel straps produced by the Specta Group VolgaStrap division. These are used for packaging large-capacity cargo (rolled steel, pipes, etc.) and must combine high strength with ductility to withstand dynamic loads.

To meet its client’s needs, NLMK supplied VolgaStrap steel that is approximately 1.5x stronger than its closest analogues at a comparable level of ductility.

Ilya Gushchin, NLMK Group vice president (sales), said: “Our co-operation with Specta is an important experience for NLMK in developing customer focus and adapting to current market demands. The properties of our new steel grade meet the needs of our customers from different industries. At the moment, homologation is underway with automotive companies that use such steel for the production of safety critical car body parts.”

Erik Helin, Specta Group CEO, said: "Thanks to our innovative quality system, Specta steel packaging straps have earned the trust of many customers. We supply steel straps to all leading steelmaking companies in the CIS. We also have a strong market position in the Middle East, Europe and North America. NLMK Group has greatly contributed to our success. NLMK Group and Specta have a long-standing relationship, with systematic development programmes and collaborations in advancing new materials. It’s a win-win strategy for NLMK, Specta, and, most importantly, our Russian and international customers.”