• Tire cord
  • Bead wire
  • Suspension spring wire
  • Clutch spring wire
  • Wires for windscreen wiper arms and blades
  • Wires and cables for window systems
  • Wires and fibers for car seats
  • Window film Green Logo Leaf Bekaert
  • Medium for the filtration of diesel soot particles Green Logo Leaf Bekaert
  • Heating cord Green Logo Leaf Bekaert
  • Hybrid textile for plastic reinforcement for bumpers Green Logo Leaf Bekaert
  • Attachment spring wire for hub caps
  • Wire for door locks
  • Wheel weights Green Logo Leaf Bekaert

Green Logo Leaf Bekaert Green product

Ultra tensile steel cord: pioneering a global trend

As worldwide concern for the environment increases, so do the automotive manufacturers’ efforts to reduce the weight of vehicles to lower fuel consumption. For almost a decade now, Bekaert has increasingly – and successfully – turned its attention to the production of thinner and stronger steel cord to reinforce rubber tires.

Thinner steel cord for an equal tensile strength makes tires lighter without loss in performance or durability. Switching to ultra tensile wire saves around 25% on weight and about 8% on rubber, leading to an overall weight saving of about 20%. As a result ultra tensile steel cord turns out to be less expensive than the conventional steel cord it replaces. Not surprisingly, sales of ultra tensile steel cord have been rising in 2009.

Performance cords* represent an ever increasing
part of our portfolio of products

* High-end cords destined for passenger car and truck tire reinforcement, reducing tire weight and prolonging tire lifetime.


"A passenger car can contain up to 30kg of Bekaert wire products."

Bekaert meets its customer needs by developing products which ensure that solutions last longer and reduce the environmental impact. Our metal fibers for filtering fine particulates from diesel truck exhausts have many advantages over ceramic filters. As well as removing the particulates, metal fiber filters also reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. An added bonus is that they require hardly any maintenance.

Around 36% of Bekaert’s sales are generated in the automotive sector, making it our largest buyer. With often invisible steel cord and wire products, Bekaert is present in nearly all automobile components: under the hood, in the steering mechanism and power system, in the doors and windows, the wheel housing and bumper, and in the interior.

Our steel cord business makes up the lion’s share of sales in this sector. We supply to almost all of the world’s truck and passenger tire manufacturers, generating sales of 63% and 37% in these segments respectively. Approximately 75% is supplied to the replacement market, which is generally less subject to cyclic fluctuations than the OEM market. Thanks to the strong automotive growth drivers of the BRIC countries and our solid presence in after-sales markets, especially tires, we remained resilient in 2009 on a global scale.

The automotive sector is evolving at an extremely high pace from national markets and national manufacturing to global manufacturing for increasingly global markets. All major OEM and car manufacturers are present in every region in the world, in mature and in emerging markets. In the latter, the passenger car has become a fast-growing consumer good. The same quality brand of materials and products around the world is key for many OEMs. Bekaert’s global presence and quality standards support these needs. Our worldwide technological leadership in metal transformation provides us with the same quality solutions for the hundreds of different applications on various continents.

Consumer preferences are changing rapidly: the global demand for small and basic cars is on the up. Increasingly stringent emission regulations are challenging the automotive sector too. Bekaert is catering to these trends with products that lower the environmental impact such as its medium for the filtration of diesel soot particles, heating cord, window film, steel wheel weights offering an alternative to lead and high tensile steel cord.

GDP growth, cost reduction, safety, comfort and environmental prescriptions are the main drivers of the automotive industry. Bekaert’s comprehensive innovation strategy provides us with all the tools to successfully exploit the many opportunities that arise. An example: some 34% of Bekaert’s sales of tire cord products are high-performance cords, specifically designed to meet the requirements of our customers for more cost-competitive, lighter tires, with a longer lifespan.

Radial tires are reinforced with various types of steel cord to improve safety, assure a longer life cycle and provide better fuel economy. The tire belt, carcass and bead can all be reinforced with Bekaert steel cord. Our high performance cords reinforce tires of off-the-road trucks which require superior impact resistance.
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