TimkenSteel.com is optimized for newer versions of popular browsers and mobile devices.

We recommend that you upgrade your browser to view the site as it was intended.


SBQ Steel Bars and Billets

Since 1917, we have manufactured quality steel bars and billets for critical applications. Today, precise metallurgical practices and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes continue to drive our steel’s reliability, efficiency and performance. Industry leaders worldwide trust the cleanliness and strength of our high-performance steel bars and steel billets.

Special bar quality (SBQ) steel is a class of long steel products engineered for tough applications, such as bearings, crankshafts, gears and drill-string components. The higher the application load, the more “special” the SBQ is.

We are one of North America’s leading producers of large diameter and intermediate-size SBQ steel bars. Our size range ranks among industry leaders, ranging from 3.1” – 12.5” (79mm – 318mm) for round-corner squares and 1” to 16” (25mm – 406mm) for bars.

To learn more about our bars and billets, check out the “bar general tolerances – steel bars & billets” section of the Practical Data for Metallurgists handbook, or see our special bar quality (SBQ) steel brochure.

Quality Levels

SBQ - Special Bar Quality

TimkenSteel produces steel solids to a range of steel quality levels, including Ultrapremium™, Parapremium™, aircraft, bearing, electric furnace and commercial.


Improved fatigue life and power density start with clean steel. TimkenSteel’s Ultrapremium™ certified air-melt technology takes cleanness to a higher standard. When this process is applied to almost any grade of steel, it dramatically lowers oxide inclusions over competing processes. The result: optimum performance and longer service at a fraction of the cost of re-melted steels.


We produce this quality level in accordance with industry specification AMS 2304. Customers generally use this steel for extremely critical or highly stressed parts as well as other applications involving additional exceptionally stringent requirements (magnetic particle inspection and macro-etch limits, for example). To meet these requirements, we employ exacting steelmaking, rolling and testing practices.



We produce this quality level of steel in accordance with the industry specification AMS 2301. Customers generally use this steel for important or highly stressed aircraft parts as well as other applications involving additional stringent requirements (magnetic particle inspection and macro-etch limits, for example). We employ exacting steelmaking, rolling and testing practices to meet these requirements.



Bearing quality generally applies to alloy steel bars and tubes that we manufacture for anti-friction bearings. Typically, this quality level ranges from standard alloy carburizing grades and high-carbon chromium grades. We produce these steels in accordance with ASTM A 534, A 295, and A 485 standards. We subject our bearing-quality steel to restricted melting and special teeming, heating, rolling and conditioning practices to meet the rigid quality requirements.



Our primary melting vessel is an electric-arc furnace. We melt steel scrap by passing electricity through carbon electrodes. The primary advantages of this type of furnace are that it allows for the extremely close control of temperature, heat analysis, and refining conditions that the production of standard carbon and alloy steels require. Electric furnace quality refers to a restriction of .025 percent maximum sulfur content and .025 percent maximum phosphorous content for the specified grade.



Commercial quality refers to the basic or standard quality level for alloy steel bars and tubes. Customers typically use this type of steel for less critical applications. We melt this quality level of steel to chemical ranges and limits, and inspect and test it to meet normal requirements for regular constructional alloy steel applications.


SBQ - Special Bar QualityHOT-ROLLED

Hot-rolled surface conditions include as-rolled or thermally treated finishes such as annealed, normalized or quench-and-tempered. This process leaves a light mill oxide on the surface. We inspect and surface-condition our hot-rolled steel bars. The customer also generally further processes the material through forging or machining.



We produce rough-turned steel bars by machining the outside surface of hot-rolled bar stock. We remove all surface defects and decarburization from the outside surface of the bar’s full length. We do this on a machine with tools mounted in a ring that rotates around the steel bar. We also use turned steel bars for special applications where the customer needs a close outside diameter tolerance and/or a clean outside surface.

Large Bar

Large BarThe TimkenSteel high volume in-line forge press provides particular value to customers in market segments where our high-performance steel products are most critical to performance in extreme operating conditions.


TimkenSteel uses the 3,000-ton press to enhance the consistency of properties of its special bar quality steel. Combined with large steel bar inspection, this forging capability reinforces TimkenSteel as a premier provider of sound-center large steel bars of up to 16 inches in diameter.


This open-die in-line press serves as the first step of the forged-rolled process at the Faircrest Steel Plant. The forge press taps into our innovative forged-rolled process. To begin, we forge the product for internal soundness, using a variety of ingot sizes and pass sequences. We then roll the product for improved shape and size control. Our forged-rolled process, engineered to meet customer requirements, creates a more uniform, stronger piece of steel with a sound center in larger bar cross-section.

Thermal Treatment

SBQ - Special Bar QualityOur industry-leading thermal treatment capabilities provide a diverse range of processing options to meet demanding strength and hardness requirements – regardless of order size. We continue to develop these capabilities and broaden our sophistication in custom thermal-treat offerings so you can rely on innovative product designs and proven quality. Few others offer this combination of metallurgical and thermal-treat knowledge, setting us apart from the competition.

We provide tailored solutions to meet our customers’ needs through our value-added steel bars and billets for challenging applications. Our approach to manufacturing integrates our melting, rolling, piercing and finishing operations, ensuring a complete chemistry and economical solution from start to finish.

Our thermal treatment includes:

The quench-and-temper process heats steel uniformly to a temperature above a critical range and cools it rapidly in water. This treatment helps achieve specific levels of strength and toughness to meet customer requirements.


Annealing is heating uniformly to a temperature within or above the critical range and cooling at a controlled rate to a temperature under the critical range. We use this treatment to produce a definite microstructure, usually one designed for best machinability. We also use annealing to remove stresses, induce softness and alter ductility, toughness or other mechanical properties.


In the normalizing process, we heat steel uniformly to a temperature above the critical range and cooling in air to room temperature. This treatment produces a recrystallization and refinement of the grain structure, giving the product uniformity in hardness and structure.

Contact Us

For more details about our steel bar and billet products, call 330-471-8888.

Need More Help?

Ask us a question