16. June 2023

Making Olympic weights go the distance - XTP®-treated steel from Steeltec, a Swiss Steel Group company, does it easily

Lucerne/Emmenbrücke/ Witten. The Olympic barbell is the centerpiece of the Olympic sport of weightlifting and also an effective training tool for many other sports. Weightlifting is a sport in which a lot of weight has to be lifted.

Consequently, the Olympic barbell must also have a high load capacity, resistance to deformation and tensile strength.

However, not every barbell that can be found on the market is suitable for Olympic weightlifting. The differences in the quality of barbells are serious. For the Swiss Steel Group and its customers, therefore, the three load parameters that provide information about the quality of the Olympic barbell are relevant.

1. static load capacity

The first parameter is the static load capacity with which the barbell is loaded with weight. It must withstand this load for a certain period of time and then return to its original shape. 

The first parameter is the static load capacity with which the barbell must withstand weight for a certain period of time and then return to its original shape. The static load capacity of a good

barbell should be >400 kg.

2. deformation resistance

The second parameter is the resistance to deformation. The load tests determine the point at which plastic deformation of the barbell occurs.

3. tensile strength

Closely related to this is the third parameter, called tensile strength. Here, the load-bearing capacity of the steel is determined by fatigue tests by stretching the Olympic barbell until it breaks. A good Olympic barbell should have a tensile strength of >160,000 PSI.

Barbells with the highest dynamic load capacity Steeltec AG, a member of the Swiss Steel Group, has a special technology called "Extreme Performance Technology (XTP®)" that it is constantly developing.

Thanks to this technology, the progressive company can, for example, set ultra-fine microstructures, which are then reflected in increased toughness and / or strength.

Targeted temperature control and intensive forming produce grain sizes of less than 5 µm.

This manufacturing process produces a steel without the need for additional alloying, which exhibits improved properties with increased dynamic and mechanical characteristics. These include:

  • increased cold toughness down to -101°C for safe low-temperature service
  • increased tensile strength up to 2,050 MPa
  • increased resistance to crack propagation
  • Redimensioning without loss of mechanical-technological properties allows flexible design
  • Absolute straightness of the bars is given. Lengths up to 8,000 (-0/+200) mm with fit DIN EN ISO 286-2 *h11 are possible, to name just a few examples

The result is, among many other products for industrial applications, dumbbell bars with highest dynamic load capacity. Of course also possible as Green Steel made from particularly CO2-friendly production methods.

The strength is hidden inside

While XTP®-treated steel looks like conventional steel on the outside, its outstanding properties are hidden on the inside: The ultra-fine-grained steel structure has a resistance far beyond the standard, opening up new avenues for versatile design and unconventional construction of components. For many industries and applications where hardness is a concern, XTP-treated steel opens up entirely new possibilities.                          

Steel treated with XTP® Technology allows users to build on entirely new, high-performance steel solutions for dynamic loads and technology life cycles. This means not only more flexible design, but also more freedom in construction - existing components become more resistant or can be resized without loss of strength thanks to XTP® technology. Even difficult challenges, such as strong as vibration, high internal pressure or extreme cold, find their true master in XTP® steel as this video shows.  Even at the lowest temperatures of -101°C, where conventionally manufactured standard steel fails, the technologically optimized steel grades exhibit notched bar impact work of well over 27 joules.

Treating steel with XTP® Technology guarantees maximum resistance to crack propagation. This ensures maximum endurance as well as the greatest possible safety.


About Swiss Steel Group
The Swiss Steel Group is one of the world's leading suppliers of individual solutions in the field of special steel long products. In both tool steel and stainless long steel, the Group is one of the leading manufacturers in the global market and is one of the two largest companies in Europe for alloyed and high-alloyed engineering steel. With almost 10,000 employees and its own production and distribution companies in over 30 countries on five continents, the company offers a complete portfolio of production and sales & services worldwide.



Helmut Freiherr von Fircks

Steeltec AG
c/o Swiss Steel Holding AG 
Landenbergstrasse 11
CH 6005 Luzern
M: +41 795484895
M: +49 172 296 2222