UK Steel- the trade association for the UK steel industry, has issued safety warning on the use of imported Chinese structural steel products. According to the notification, imported Chinese steel plates and sections are found not fully compliant with the specified standards. It must be noted that the trade association had issued a similar warning on imported Chinese rebar during the month of January this year.
According to European standards, only non-alloy steel qualifies as structural steel. The standards outline strict restrictions on the quantity of other metallic elements in it to qualify as non-alloy steel. However, the steel plates and sections imported from China are discovered to contain small proportions of alloying elements. The imported plate and section steel are found to contain elevated levels of copper .
The trade association alleged that Chinese manufacturers add alloying elements to plain carbon steel to classify them as ‘alloyed steel’ in order to escape from local export tax. All non-alloyed steel exports are subject to export tax in that country, UK Steel noted.
The addition of these alloying elements can cause problems when the steel is welded. It may cause the steel to crack on welding. Furthermore, the crack may become visible only after 48 hours of welding, which by that time could even lead to catastrophic failures. The association called upon all steel customers to check the alloy content in steel before they are used in welding applications.
UK Steel represents the entire steel producing companies and many of the steel processing companies in the UK.