November 23, 2015
Chinese Steel – an insurance perspective
The Engineering Employers Federation recently issued a press statement and safety warning about the use of Chinese steel. There are two key areas as we see it at Wilsons that will affect a number of our construction and engineering clients, so here’s an insurance perspective on Chinese Steel.
Firstly there have been a number of incidents reported of Chinese steel containing higher levels of the elements of Boron and Chromium. Chinese producers of steel add these elements in order to qualify the steel as an alloy because alloy steel exports benefit from a tax rebate. However alloy steel plates and sections do not comply with the European Standards for structural steel.
The second issue and more importantly is that these alloy additions can significantly affect the steel when it is being welded. These levels of alloy can cause steel to crack on welding and it is a problem which may not show up for up to 48 hours after the welding has taken place. This problem can also be found in copper-alloyed steel as well.
This matter was also highlighted to the Galvanisers Association members and they have been made aware of the issues and have been tracking any problems which have arisen during the galvanising process and whether there has been any breakdown or cracking in the welds of the affected structures. However, to date the Galvanisers Association have advised that they have not seen any significant increase in the impact of such cracking in their processes.
Wilsons felt that this information would be useful to our construction and manufacturing based businesses.
For further information, please contact Mark Minton.