Chinese Steel Industry Faces Huge Boom

In the recent past, China’s stock market has been dwindling due to the trade wars with the US. However, steel prices have been indicating a positive state of the economy. Although China is transforming from manufacturing to consumption economy, steel is still an essential part of the economy. For instance, Baosteel, one of the biggest steel manufacturing companies in the country, reported a sixty-two percent year-over-year increase in profits.

The steel market seems undisturbed by the numerous tariffs, internal economic issues, and government controls. For instance, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), steel production increased by 7.2% in July. Production in 2018 is ahead by 6.3% compared to the records set last year. The growth may have slowed slightly in August as the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reduced by 1.4% but stayed above fifty percent.

According to the World Steel Association, China accounted for 49.2% of the global steel manufacturing. Recent data indicates that China accounts for 50.7% of the world steel production. China’s output in a month is more than the United States produces in a year.

 

Lower Production, Higher Prices

 

In the past three years, the government has been running a campaign to reduce production capacity. This is in attempts to curb environmental pollution. Also, the overproduction has been blamed for low prices and losses. In 2016, the government cut the annual production by sixty-five million tons. In 2018, by fifty million tons.

This year, the government is looking forward to cutting output by thirty million tons. Apart from the cut in production, the government has also been issuing temporary suspensions in the Beijing area. This is to prevent steel factories from producing fog during the heating seasons. However, the suspension that could have cut production by fifty percent is not deterring overall production. This is because production doubled in other parts of the country.

On the other hand, the downsizing and production cut attempts by the government caused steel prices to soar. Some steelmakers increased their production to take advantage of the rise in prices. According to the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), there was a 14.6% increase in prices at the end of July.

 

Improved Production Process

 

Another reason for the increase in production is improved efficiency. Nowadays, most steel mills around the country use better grades of iron ore and more scrap steel to reduce emissions.

The good fortunes witnessed by the steel industry may be a headache to the government. Information from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) pointed out that this year’s targeted cut in production might be difficult if the profit margins continue to grow. However, the government has been able to cut capacity of 24.7 million tons in the first seven months of 2018.

There have been reports that some millers may restart outdated production methods to take advantage of the soaring prices. For instance, many mills that had closed two years ago have recently started reopening due to the increase of steel prices in the market. Research conducted by the Greenpeace East Asia indicated that 73% of the increased capacity came from factories that were presumed idle. There has not been an official government audit to explain the increased production despite the measure put in place to cut output.

Efforts by the government to cut production are faced with a lot of challenges. For example, there have been reports that the price does not control the production of steel. Overproduction is continuing whether the prices are high or low. Additionally, steel production has been thriving even when the GDP is declining.

Stainless Steel & the Sugar Industry

In order to transform sugar cane into white sugar, it must undergo a complex refining process. Brazil and India are two of the major players in the sugar industry. Both countries are currently engaged in upgrading essential equipment for sugar refinery to aid in eliminating waste and contamination.

An essential aspect toward eliminating waste is implementing stainless steel for all equipment used in making refined sugar and sugar cane juice products. Many business owners are currently making the move to upgrade their equipment, which is in the best interests of safety – as well as efficacy. The slight increase in cost for stainless steel equipment would quickly get recouped through the major increase in usable product available to sell.

Transforming cane sugar into refined white sugar takes the most effective, viable metal available. Stainless steel meets that criteria. In fact, the most hygienic metal for refining sugar cane is stainless steel.

 

Sugar Cane and Corrosion

 

Regular carbon steel rusts and corrodes when it encounters air and moisture. However, when you add chromium, it creates stainless steel – which is highly resistant to corrosion.

The juice of the sugar cane is quite acidic. In addition, it emits a gaseous discharge. Acid tends to consume most organic material. Gas turns toxic when mixed with many chemicals. Most materials corrode and break down against acid and gaseous discharge. Corrosion is one of the biggest problems facing the sugar industry.

Any company that uses equipment to handle sugar knows their equipment will wear out quickly when exposed to sugar cane juice. If the equipment contains moving parts, then corrosion eats through the bearings and mechanisms powering those parts. If the equipment is a free-standing holding tank with no moving parts, then sugar cane juice quickly erodes the holding tank’s material. This allows it to spread to other pieces of critical equipment when the acidic cane juice wreaks more havoc.

 

Responsible Companies Use Stainless Steel

 

Corroding equipment typically contains sharp edges. Workers and employees deserve a safe working environment. Sharp edges from corroding parts pose hazards and danger to the employees sugar manufacturers have a responsibility to protect.

A great deal of wasted productivity, as well as the amount of product lost, happens because of using carbon steel or another metal that cannot resist corrosion. Stainless steel includes a ferrous and chromium property to it that makes it highly resistant to corrosive products.

Most major manufacturers worldwide use stainless steel to make their products. Typically, stainless steel is preferred for processing food products. It is nearly impossible to maintain sanitary conditions without it. In 2007, 11 years ago, India lost an estimated $250 million dollars a year due to corrosion in metal factories. If India’s sugar barons do not convert all metal equipment used to refine sugar, they may find themselves priced out of the world market. As a result, a recent study has found that using stainless steel solutions will reduce corrosion-related losses and recalls in India by nearly 50%, a figure that is sure to entice numerous major players in the sugar refinery industry.

With the sugar industry being a crucial driving factor for development in a number of countries around the world, the transition to stainless steel will mean continued sustenance and prosperity for those regions.

How to Weld Steel

Welding is an important step in the construction process. It is the method of fusing two metal pieces together to form a whole piece using a heat source. Take note that this is not just perfect for creating metallic materials needed for constructing a home. You can also use welding as a means to fuse a metal part to another broken area of a home, vehicle, hardware or even a device. Construction experts, repair specialists, car mechanics, and even hobbyists often use this method.

Note, however, that the means of welding metal may vary based on the type of material used. Thus, you may need to change the steps needed for welding iron if you want to focus on other materials like aluminum or stainless steel. To get started, simply follow the steps below.

 

Wear The Right Gear First

You need to wear the right clothes and equipment first before you proceed with welding. The process can be dangerous to certain parts of your body due to the amount of heat being used. Wear a long-sleeve shirt in order to protect your lower arms from any sparks that may fly as you weld. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves. Also, use safety goggles to protect your eyes from the flash of the welding machine. You might want to consider wearing ear protectors as an option, too.

 

Identify The Right Joints

There are different methods you can use to fuse your metals. There’s the T-shape, where a piece of metal stands on top of the same metal that’s laid on the ground in order to form the letter T. You can also go for the corner method, where you just need to attach the metals to their respective edges. You can also pick the lap joint, wherein you can just overlap a certain area of a metal to another metal. The edge joint is where the edges of a metal are welded to wholly stack the two metals together. Lastly, the butt joint is where you need to weld two metals side-by-side to form a welding line at the middle, hence the name.

When performing this step, you have to take note of the metal’s thickness to find out how much will be welded. You also need to choose the right welding power needed based on the metal’s quality, and for you to find out if the joints can be welded fully. There is also a need to evaluate if the joint you will make will fit your task.

 

Picking A Filler Metal

The base metal should match the material used for welding another base metal. If they differ, you will need to use a filler metal in order to complete the process. Take note that welding two different metals together may cause cracking or breakage on the two metals you’re using. So be sure to check the compatibility of the two metals first before fusing them.

 

Preparations

First of all, secure the two metals using a C-clamp or any fixtures in order to hold them tight as you prepare the materials for welding. Next, pick the right type of welding procedures depending on how you will use the welded metals. You can go for shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, keyhole gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and the flux cored arc welding.

The type of welding process will depend on the goal that you wish to achieve, meaning that you have to learn to do them all. You also need to choose an inert shielding gas, such as helium, or a combination depending on the metal or the task at hand. Typically, the shielded metal arc welding method doesn’t need to use a shielding gas at most times. Clean the base metal to get rid of any oxides by gently brushing it using a steel brush. You should also use oils to further polish the base metal.

 

The Welding Process

To start welding, heat up the area to room temperature. High carbon content steel must be preheated immediately, especially on metals with thicker volumes. If you’re using a type of austenitic material, there is no need to do this. After preheating, apply the welding torch on its designated area. Then, apply a post-heat using your heater once again as the metal is going to rapidly cool down, and may cause breakage or cracking due to the lack of heat upon welding the metals. This is very important to do when fusing thick metals together. Lastly, remove any grindings, slag or potential debris by using a chipping hammer.

These are the recommended steps that you need to take if you wish to properly weld your stainless steel materials. Be sure to learn what the different welding methods are, as instructed above, and follow all preparations mentioned. Any kind of repairman or specialist in construction considers welding as one of the basic tasks. Even hobbyists are placing efforts to learn this method as they need it for their craft. That’s why this guide will surely give you an insight upon the basics of welding itself.

 

How To Prevent Steel from Rusting

Steel is one of the most durable and reliable metals in the world. Due to this, it is used for a variety of purposes, such as residential/commercial construction, auto manufacturing, and infrastructural development. While steel can be very durable and last for a long time, it does require some maintenance.

One of the more serious issues that can affect steel is rust. This occurs when a steel pipe or other steel material begins to corrode. The corrosion process refers to when steel comes into contact with water or oxygen for an extended period of time. Since it is a naturally occurring process, it can be hard to completely control. Fortunately, there are measures you can take that will aid in preventing rust from damaging your steel materials.

 

Clean the Steel Regularly

While certain paints, primers, and other coatings can do a good job of preventing rust from occurring, you will still need to conduct regular maintenance. One of the most basic types of maintenance for steel is to simply clean it on a regular basis. If steel begins to look dirty, it could be the first indication that rust will begin to form. Because of this, you should use steel cleaners to make sure that they are clean of all debris when possible. There are a variety of industrial steel cleaners today that will do a good job of protecting the steel. You can also use a variety of more natural solutions, such as a mixture of water, salt, and lime. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda paste are also viable options.

 

Consider Galvanized Piping

Galvanized steel pipes are coated in zinc to protect against rust formation. These are primarily used to transport water and can last decades. They’re more affordable than copper piping but still more durable than plastic, making them a top choice for large construction projects and outdoor uses where large amounts of water will be carried. The only problem with galvanized piping is that their diameter gets smaller over time, as sediment reacts to the zinc barrier and can begin to accumulate, restricting water flow. If this causes a clog, hammer out the sediment and other minerals from the outside of the pipe and flush the pipes out.

 

Remove Evidence of Rust

Since rust is a naturally occurring element, it can be hard to completely prevent at all times. However, if you do begin to see signs of rust, it is important that you react right away. When you notice a small section of rust growing on a piece of steel, you should go to your local hardware store. Purchase a steel brush to scrape off evidence of the rust. You can also use WD-40 to break down the bonds between the metal and the rust, making the removal process easier. Doing this will help to prevent the rusting area to corrode any further. After removing all of the rust, you should reapply a new primer and paint to prevent any rust from coming back. There is no perfect piping, but it  is crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge for prevention and maintenance.

 

Mid-2018 Global Steel Outlook

Overall global steel output is headed in a positive direction, despite recent controversy surrounding steel tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. Over the last year, raw-steel production has steadily increased. This is after nearly two years of below-average demand. The World Steel Association predicts that steel demand for manufacturing and construction purposes will continue to increase throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019. This often correlates with overall global economic prosperity. Typically, positive economic performance leads to innovation and new construction, hence the rising steel demand.

Data suggests that May 2018 saw the largest jump of the year. In that month, global output increased by 6.6% compared to May of 2017. From April to May alone, global steel production jumped by 4.7 percent. While China and the European Union are responsible for the largest portion of these jumps, other countries are sure to see significant boosts as well.

India: A Steel Behemoth

Just recently, Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton announced that it predicts Indian steel demand will double by 2025. Allegedly, the government’s goal is to produce 300 million tonnes of steel by 2030. If current production were to truly double by 2025, that means it would reach 170 metric tonnes.

Some economists are suggesting that India’s 2030 goal may be a bit of a reach. However, they still say it’s no doubt that the construction and infrastructural industries have a demand.

The recent trade war that has been spurred on by the Trump Administration’s tariffs has global economies scrambling for new strategies and steel consumers. There has been an inevitable period of rockiness in light of these recent events. Nonetheless, Huw McKay, BHP Billiton Vice President of Analysis and Economics, says there is enough global steel demand to absorb the newly produced steel.

EU Responds to Steel Tariffs 

Since the U.S. has imposed levies on imported steel and aluminum, the EU must prepare for a steel/aluminum import surge into the bloc from other countries. Consequently, they are searching for solutions to curb some of these imports. On Thursday, the EU voted to back measures preventing an overwhelming influx of steel and aluminum. As a result, they have put a quota in place. They will still welcome steel imports, with some exceptions. To prevent a flood of steel imports into the EU market, the EU will place tariffs on imports exceeding the determined quota.

Excessive steel imports into the EU market could damage the EU steel industry’s own prosperity. The EU has also imposed its own levies on numerous U.S. imports, including jeans, bourbon, and motor bikes. Canada is also imposing “retaliatory tariffs” in response to the new U.S. policy.

While the impacts of the U.S. steel tariffs on the domestic market are still being assessed, certain industries (such as the automotive industry) will likely be impacted. In some steel-oriented towns across the country, the tariffs have brought relief. Many view it as a way to boost the American steel industry and encourage domestic steel production. As time continues on, consumers and steel experts are hopeful that growth in the steel industry will too.