Stainless steel industry

12,Mar 2022

Stainless steel: 300 series is the most widely used

Stainless steel is usually classified by chemical composition. According to different standards, the classification of stainless steel is different: according to chemical composition, stainless steel is mainly divided into chromium 400 series , chromium nickel 300 series , chromium nickel manganese 200 series ; According to the metallographic structure, stainless steel can be divided into austenite, martensite, ferrite, duplex stainless steel and precipitation hardening stainless steel; Low temperature, wear resistant, non magnetic, free cutting and superplastic stainless steels by function. Among them, according to the chemical composition of stainless steel is divided into 200, 300, 400 system is more general division.

The 300 series stainless steel is widely used. From a downstream perspective, the 300 series stainless steel has a wide range of uses. In 2020, China’s key excellent and special steel enterprises 300 series (chromium-nickel series) stainless steel output of about 2,307.89 million tons, 400 series (chromium series) stainless steel output of 13.84557 million tons, the rest of the chemical composition of stainless steel output of 509,500 tons, 300 series stainless steel production and consumption is relatively high. From the downstream point of view, 300 series stainless steel can be used in household appliances, tableware, chemical industry, exhaust pipe and other production and life scenes, is the most widely used stainless steel.


Stainless steel demand is mainly metal products and mechanical engineering

Metal products, mechanical engineering accounts for about 60% of the demand for stainless steel, stainless steel is the main demand source. According to ISSF data, stainless steel downstream metal products accounted for about 37.7%. Stainless steel metal products are mainly daily products and home appliances, including tableware, cabinets and other daily necessities, while home appliances are mainly washing machines, refrigerators and range hoods. Mechanical equipment accounts for about 28.7% of the demand for stainless steel, mainly including subway, chemical, food and other industrial fields. Building stainless steel accounted for about 12.4%, mainly used for elevators, surface decoration, etc. Other electronic machinery, motor vehicles and other vehicles accounted for approximately 7.8%, 8.3% and 5.1% of stainless steel demand. From the perspective of demand composition, stainless steel demand is closely related to durable goods consumption, machinery and equipment manufacturing, and low correlation with real estate.

There are four main methods of stainless steel smelting

At present, stainless steel smelting is mainly divided into four ways. At present, the four ways of smelting stainless steel are one-step, two-step, three-step and new one-step smelting. One-step method is molten iron + argon oxygen refining furnace (AOD); The two-step method is electric arc furnace (EAF) + argon oxygen refining furnace (AOD). The three-step method is electric arc furnace (EAF) + argon oxygen refining furnace (AOD) + vacuum refining furnace (VOD). The new one – step method is RKEF + AOD. According to the Stainless Steel Branch of the China Special Steel Association, the two-step process accounted for about 70 percent of global stainless steel smelting capacity in 2017. China’s waste stainless steel resources are relatively limited, the lack of nickel resources, more enterprises from the entrance laterite nickel ore began to smelting stainless steel, the smelting method is generally a new one-step method.

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