How big is the gap between domestic and foreign high-end steel products?

“Currently, the quality, performance, and green level of China’s key basic steel and new materials have increased significantly. However, compared with advanced countries, there is still a gap in China’s high-end equipment materials, and it is urgent to increase the intensity of research.” May 7, Steel Du Bansheng, vice president of the Research Institute, said at the 2018 China Steel Rolling and Rolling Technology Summit Forum hosted by China Metallurgical Press. He believes that the development direction and trend of iron and steel materials is high cleanliness, high uniformity, ultrafine microstructure, high precision and high added value, and it is urgent to form advanced manufacturing processes and user application technologies for key base steel new materials.

There are still three problems in the development of high-end equipment steel materials

“High-end equipment steel materials are high-tech products in iron and steel materials, and are aerospace, energy transportation, ocean engineering, automotive lightweight, environmental protection and other major industries and equipment manufacturing, major engineering construction, strategic emerging industries and advanced weapons for national defense. The key basic materials required are of great significance for promoting the sustainable development of the steel industry and safeguarding national industrialization and national defense security, said Du Bangsheng.

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He believes that the development of steel materials for high-end equipment has the following characteristics: national, industry, and local governments have issued relevant plans and strengthened macro-level guidance; strengthened breakthroughs in key technologies, successfully applied a number of high-end steel products, and strengthened the status of enterprises as mainstays. The more advanced production process; the scale of the industry has gradually expanded, the regional characteristics are increasingly obvious; the key steel materials have obvious functionalities and have specific service areas; the development of key steel materials has urgency.
He said that whether it is from the level of technological development, the quality of varieties, or from the point of view of industrial competitiveness, there is still a gap between China’s steel materials for high-end equipment and advanced countries.
First, the steel production process is backward, and the product’s independent development capability is weak.
On the whole, China’s high-end equipment and iron and steel materials have a relatively low-end structure, and some high-end equipment and core components rely heavily on imported key steel materials. The key technologies are subject to human control. Such as special corrosion-resistant oil well pipes, marine corrosion-resistant steel, high-speed railway axles and bearing steels, high-standard mold steel and other key basic steel products still can not meet the demand, it needs urgent development.
Second, there is not enough convergence between product development and downstream market demand.
The development of key steel materials involves the cooperation between numerous equipment manufacturers and steel producers, universities and research institutes. However, the loose cooperation between Chinese enterprises and the lack of collaborative innovation capabilities have not combined product development with the actual needs of user companies, which has seriously hindered the development of key base steels for high-end equipment.

Third, the relevant standards cannot meet the requirements for the rapid development of the steel industry. In addition, there are still phenomena of fine management and low level of production, and the level of production technology lags behind the level of equipment.
“This is a high level of corporate equipment, but the lack of corresponding product quality and variety can be reflected.” Du Bangsheng said.

What is the difference between high-end steel products at home and abroad?

“How much is the gap between domestic and foreign high-end steel products? We have done some research.” Du Bangsheng made the following classification comparison.
In the field of marine engineering equipment and high-tech shipboard critical steel, China urgently needs to develop high-end varieties. At present, from the perspective of consumption, 90% of China’s steel for marine equipment can be self-sufficient, but in terms of specifications, the steel used for high-end marine equipment, which accounts for 70% of the grade, is either blank or heavily dependent on imports.
In aviation (aerospace) engines and high-temperature alloys for gas turbines, China is still in the follow-up phase. However, objectively speaking, the gap between the level of research and production of high-temperature alloys in China and the advanced countries is getting closer.

In the new high-speed rail and urban rail steel, China’s development is not balanced. At present, China’s EMU vehicle technology is in a running or leading position worldwide, but the key materials in key technologies such as wheelsets, bogies and transmissions are still in the running or running phase. Among them, China’s high-speed wheel application time is short, research and development started relatively late, the process of reference, absorption and reinvention is also short, the accumulation of original innovation and application data is less, still partly dependent on imports; in terms of high-speed axles The axles of the domestic EMUs mainly depend on imports. There is a lack of systematic technical reserves in the EMU axle technical requirements and material technology standards. In terms of high-speed bearings, the EMUs used by domestic OEMs are all of the axlebox bearings used in Europe. Japan, China’s vacuum degassing bearing steel metallurgy quality stability and fatigue life and foreign high-quality vacuum degassing steel (high-iron bearing steel) there is a certain gap.
Regarding the steel used for the structural and key components of large aircraft, the overall level of our country can basically meet the requirements of national defense industry, equipment manufacturing, and national economic development. However, compared with the international advanced level, there is still a large gap.
Compared with the advanced level in foreign countries, China is in a state of follow-up in the field of structural key steel materials for large aircrafts; further efforts are still required in high-performance theoretical design and calculations, breadth and depth studies, advanced equipment production, and optimization of process parameters.
“High-end equipment used for iron and steel materials is related to social and economic security and national defense security. It is related to the upgrading of China’s industrial core competitiveness. It is related to China’s industrial transformation and upgrading, and it is related to the construction of China’s industrial independent innovation capability. It must achieve breakthroughs as soon as possible and make up for shortfalls,” said Du Bangsheng.

Strategic Pillar Industry Develops New Needs

“China has entered a crucial stage in the development of key basic iron and steel materials, but some high-quality special steels still rely on imports and are subject to human control. From an urgent point of view, changes in world economic growth and market demand have undergone new changes, and new forms of industrial transformation and upgrading have been formed in China. Currently, technological innovation and the development of emerging industries have given birth to new breakthroughs. It can be said that the mission of Chinese companies to break through the ‘low-end lock-in’ of the global value chain is an arduous task, said Du Bangsheng.
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He believes that energy, transportation, aviation, and marine engineering are important strategic pillar industries in China. The development of ultra-supercritical power plants at 700°C, high-speed rail, civil aviation, high-end automobiles, and deep-sea projects will all be the core competition for high-end equipment in China. The embodiment of force.
“According to our research, in the future, the demand for ultra-large-displacement pipeline steel and second- and third-generation automotive steel will increase substantially.” Du Bangsheng introduced.

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