Material Development

High-quality wheels are not just made of steel – they are made by our forging experience.

„The secret of a good wheel lies in the material and its properties, but also in its manufacturing. Both the material development and the production process become one at the BVV: There is no planning at the desk that results in many failed welding or forging test runs. Both the theoretical and practical planning go hand in hand at each stage of development. This may be more expensive and time-consuming than the former approach, but the high-quality, market-leading results are worth the cost.”


Further development of standard steel

Know-how and experience are, next to the material, the key to the longevity of our wheels and how many miles they will run. The supreme discipline in this regard is the optimisation of current materials within existing norms and regulations. This leads to easier certifications and allows us to gain advantages when it comes to the development of entirely new products.

Development of new materials

The development of new materials is a demanding research project that takes place in close cooperation with our clients. This is especially practical where standard limits are tightened and new solutions need to be created. We have laid this out for you in the example below:

Customer needs: More than 40 tonnes per wheelset during continuous Operation

OEMs and operators increasingly expect high-strength, high-performance and fatigue-resistant heavy-duty wheelsets for loads over 40 t per wheelset, which can also be used economically for loads under 30 t. Since the common materials, such as Class C according to AAR, already show significant damage to the wheel treads at loads of over 30 t, we have developed a special steel in cooperation with our customers.

The BVV solution: Our niobium-based micro-alloyed steel

After a comprehensive series of test, we decided on a micro-alloy with a niobium-base. Niobium is a rare heavy metal which is ideal for forming a high-tenacity alloy with a fine-grained bainitic-perlitic micro structure due to its high carbon affinity.

Our NIOB micro-alloy fulfils all AAR Class D criteria regarding hardness, fracture toughness, strength characteristics and fatigue resistance. Our high-class, high-performance wheels are made from exactly this NIOB micro-alloy – creating economic and resilient freight traffic.