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Nonmetallic inclusions are particles inherent to the steelmaking process that are known to reduce the fatigue life on parts exposed to continuous stresses. Steel producers are challenged to minimize inclusions and ultimately reduce detrimental effects on the final product, especially on critical vehicular applications. Premature failures in highly stressed components have driven the push for cleaner, high-performing steels. 

The need for high-strength steel parts with lightweight design and increased fatigue life and better performance is more important than ever. Bearing steels used in safety-critical parts – including wheel hubs, constant-velocity joints (CVJs), transmission and differential gears, pinions, and others – are clear examples. The automotive industry is driving this need for increased performance, and Gerdau Special Steel is here to rise to the occasion by producing cleaner steels using sustainable processes. As the leading supplier of SBQ steel in North America, Gerdau is prepared to better serve the automotive industry through state-of-the-art, modern processes and equipment, finding ways to improve steel cleanliness, and remaining intensely focused on meeting the needs of our automotive customers. Hello, Performa™ steels!

Meet Performa™

Your search for high-performing, quality SBQ ends with Performa™ - premium steel carefully processed to improve the fatigue life and meet the properties of the most critical automotive applications. Made with quality and sustained by performance, Gerdau's Performa™ products are specially tailored to meet the needs of each customer's end use and guarantees strength to the very end. After all, the best SBQ starts with incomparable quality and ends with outstanding performance! 

Performa™ steels are produced with special chemistry and property controls, through advanced processes, to further improve the cleanliness of Gerdau’s steel. Our special processes are designed to minimize nonmetallic inclusions in terms of size and frequency, while optimizing distribution, shape and chemical composition, to minimize their detrimental effects. As a result, these clean steels are capable of exceeding the performance expectations of automotive and commercial vehicle applications.   

Meet Performa

The Four Pillars of Performa™

The Process

The Process

A customized steelmaking process focused on meeting the most critical customer specifications

The Investment

The Investment

Continued investments in processes and technologies to make clean steels

The Testing

The Testing

Advanced testing to ensure the highest product quality and performance

The Team

The Team

A Gerdau team dedicated to consistent process control for product repeatability, heat after heat

Micro-Inclusion Density Comparison in Standard SBQ vs. Performa™ SBQ

The data below shows that Performa™ SBQ contains at least 50% less micro-inclusions than standard SBQ in low-carbon SBQ for gearing applications. In mid-carbon SBQ for bearing applications, Performa® SBQ contains almost 60% fewer micro-inclusions.



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The Performa™ Way

Behind high-quality SBQ lies complex processes and modern equipment. At Gerdau, we are customer-centric—each order we make is customized and tailored to fit the critical needs of each customer and provide a value-added customer experience. The steelmaking process begins with proper ferrous raw materials selection and application, followed by high efficiency melting and primary refining, secondary refining, vacuum degassing, and continuous casting. Our clean steel practices require tight control of steel chemistry, temperature, and processing times throughout all stages of the Melt Shop process. The solidified blooms of steel are then rolled into bars and finished to the customer’s specification, prior to undergoing automated internal and surface quality inspection. Only then our products can be shipped.

The Performa Way


The demands for high-quality, performance steels continue to evolve over time, requiring our team to work diligently to continue to improve our processes through the formation of research partnerships, continuous process improvements, and modern technology. Aligned with the critical characteristics of automotive applications, Gerdau has invested over $400 million on state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and process-control improvements. Over the years, these investments have included updates to melting, casting, slag detection, tundish flow time control, shrouding, vacuum degassing, straightening, and improved surface- and internal- quality inspection. All these equipment and process enhancements result in higher-quality engineered steel bars that meet the challenging performance expectations of our automotive end users.


High Quality Yields Increased Performance

Steel cleanliness is critical in many automotive applications. This is because hard inclusions cause stress, ultimately leading to fatigue failure. By using modern scanning technology, we can characterize steel inclusions and improve our processes to avoid/minimize fatigue failure. This allows us to create premium steels, Performa™—higher performing steels that meet stringent metallurgical specifications for nonmetallic inclusion content.


Cleanliness of Performa™ SBQ vs. Standard SBQ


High Quaity


Steel made the Performa™ way has the ability to successfully reduce component size and weight, while maintaining equivalent fatigue performance. This is what makes this quality SBQ the preferred choice of our automotive customers.


Product Information


  • Diameters from 7/8” to 3 ½ ”
  • Lengths from 15’ to 32’
  • Inquire for other diameters and lengths



  • Bearing quality meeting ASTM specifications, including A295, A485, A534, and A866 specifications 
  • Aircraft quality meeting AMS 2301 and AMS 2304 specifications
  • Carbon and alloy ASTM grades and customized SBQ chemistries


Heat Treating

Full range of in-house heat treating capabilities, including: spheroidizing, normalizing, stress relieving,annealing, quench and tempering, and any customized heat treat cycles


Product Verification Capabilities

  • 100% automated ultrasonic and magnetic flux leakage testing
  • ASTM E45
  • ISO 4967
  • JIS G 0555


Process Verification Capabilities

  • Immersion ultrasonic
  • Extreme value analysis (EVA)
  • Automated scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis



Check out our brochure to learn more about Performa™


Learn about Gerdau’s innovation in the video below!

Watch the video below to learn more about Gerdau’s investments in clean steels!


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