Innovation as a driver for a sustainable future

Innovation is a key pillar in Bekaert’s strategy to achieve sustainable profitable growth. In 2013 we therefore invested substantially in developing new products and improving production processes.

Bekaert_Technology_labs2013

The technology centers of Bekaert are equipped with labs and pilot lines.


In close cooperation with our customers, we further developed our new generation tire cord types, such as the super-tensile and ultra-tensile ranges that provide increased strength. Super and ultra-tensile tire cord allows tire makers to produce tires with a lower weight and lower rolling resistance, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and the respective performance ranking of tire models in international tire labeling standards.

In 2013, we also continued to invest in research and development projects that fundamentally change the properties of steel cord. Bekaert’s successful launch of ternary alloy coated steel cord, for instance, contributes to more durable tires and cleaner processes at the sites of the tire manufacturers. The innovative steel cord concept eliminates the need for adding cobalt to the rubber compound. Furthermore, this differentiated technology offers our customers a cost advantage, while extensive tests have shown the concept to have a significant positive impact on adhesion, rolling resistance and tire life. 

The construction market successfully welcomed the new series of our Dramix® fibers for concrete reinforcement, launched in 2012. The addition of the new steel fibers in the 4D and 5D series takes concrete reinforcement to the next performance class: previously unknown levels of anchorage, tensile strength and ductility guarantee the best possible solution for an ever wider range of applications.


Bekaert’s ropes platform also continued to innovate, with new rope types aiming for higher strength and improved quality of ropes and rope wires for hoisting & lifting applications. The development of better coatings on rope wire for rock protection resulted in better corrosion resistance.

Bekaert continued to develop thermoplastic components reinforced with steel cord. The flexible structure of this hybrid material makes it suitable for a wide range of uses that require a high-impact resistance, like automotive impact parts, as well as plastic storage tanks, engineering structures, buoys and dock fenders.

Bekaert further invested in the development of super high precision profile wires used in flexible pipes. These shaped and flat steel wires are being used for the mechanical reinforcement and optimal pressure resistance of flexible pipes that transport oil and gas from the well to the production platform. Another example are our triangular shaped wires for wedge screens and filters applied in fine filtration processes such as for oil and for drinking water.

In cable armoring, we improved the tensile strength of our electromechanical wires. This allows our customers in the energy and utilities sector to develop longer cable span. Also, we introduced our a-magnetic armoring wire to the market. This heavily galvanized, austenitic stainless steel wire is used for protecting submarine power cables. A heavy zinc layer on austenitic steel offers excellent resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, making it perfect for marine applications and the only full a-magnetic solution that combines excellent corrosion resistance with easy processability.

Bekaert continued to serve the needs of the medical sector, with new developments in stainless wires for dental and insulin injection applications.


The Technology Center in Deerlijk (Belgium) coordinates Bekaert’s global research and development efforts.

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