China's steel market gap is still very large

The most primitive impression of a car is an "iron shovel," so it is called "iron horse." The development history of automobiles is also a history of the evolution of automobile materials. Although the development of science and technology has already caused automobile manufacturing to be different from the past, the materials developed specifically for automobiles are endless. However, steel as the main raw material has never changed. At present, among the raw materials for automobile manufacturing, the proportion of steel accounts for 60% to 70% of the total consumption. The automobile manufacturing industry is one of the largest users of the steel industry.

Automobile steel is the commanding point of iron and steel products, and mainly includes special steels such as automobile girder plates, automobile inner liners, automobile (car) panels, and transmission gear steels. As domestic steel companies have insufficient production capacity for some high-value-added steel products used in automobiles, the problem of unreasonable product structure in China's steel industry is particularly prominent, especially the long-term reliance on imports for the largest-volume automotive sheet.

Now, this situation that has long plagued the automotive industry has fundamentally changed. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. announced that 56 domestic automobile manufacturers have long adopted “Baosteel” brand automobile plates, and the market share of car plates used by cars produced by Baosteel has reached 51.54% in domestic auto companies. Shanghai Volkswagen, Shanghai GM, and South Automobiles, Chang'an Ford, Guangzhou Toyota, Tianjin FAW Toyota, FAW Audi, Beijing Hyundai, Chery Automobile and other domestic car manufacturers have adopted the automotive sheet metal produced by Baosteel.

According to an industry expert, in 2006, the domestic automotive industry demand for steel changed the same as the characteristics of the overall industrial steel, that is, single consumption continued to decline, the total demand continued to increase, species and performance requirements continue to increase, some of the special steel supply and demand conflicts Still relatively large.

Automobile, steel grow together

According to reports, in the entire automobile production process, the use of steel plates has reached about 50%, and the use of various types of iron castings accounts for about 20%. The rapid development of China's auto industry has driven the rapid development of the automotive steel market, and has also promoted the improvement of domestic steel production levels.

After Baosteel first developed automotive O5 steel plates in the 1990s, domestic iron and steel companies began to develop their strength in the automotive steel industry. Major domestic steel companies such as Shougang and Wuhan Iron and Steel have all come up with their own products. In the past, many rely on imports. Car steel has been achieved domestically. In order to meet the needs of domestic auto companies, Baosteel and Angang have successively formed strategic partnerships with FAW, and Dongfeng Motor Company has also formally established a strategic partnership with Panzhihua Iron & Steel.

Since 1994, research and development, production, and market expansion of high-grade O5 automotive panels began. With more than 10 years of hard work, the production level of Baosteel's automotive panels has been ranked first in the international automotive panel manufacturing industry, and Baosteel's high-intensity dual- Surface galvanized sheets and other products have been provided to Audi, Buick and other high-end cars, breaking the long-term high-priced imported car plate monopoly of the domestic market situation.

High-grade steel to be developed

Although the output of domestic steel products for automobiles has been greatly increased, at present, it is still not possible to supply batches of high-grade cold-rolled sheets for automobiles, and more than 60% rely on imports.

Experts in the industry believe that at present, the domestic steel industry has a fierce competition for low-end steel products for vehicles, but high-end steel products for vehicles have been in short supply. The serious shortage of automotive high-end steel products, the inability of self-sufficiency in technology and raw materials, and the high prices of imported raw materials and high-end products need to change.

According to an industry source, some domestic steel products with high difficulty and high added value are under development. Although some trial production has been successful, due to limited demand and high production costs, it is still not possible to mass produce. For example, the cold-rolled sheet for passenger cars (including galvanized sheet) has now been developed to use high-strength, high-strength sheet metal strips, which represent ultra-low carbon, ultra-deep (DEEQ/UEDDQ) IF steel cold plates and plating Zinc plate, Bake hardening type (BH) high-strength plate and phosphorus-containing high-strength plate, these three varieties are in trial production, trial stage, the specifications of car plates are generally 0.5-3.0mm thick, 600-2000mm wide, currently domestic Some specifications are also difficult to produce.

For the high value-added galvanized steel sheet of zinc-iron alloy plating required by the automotive industry, only WISCO's galvanizing unit is equipped with zinc-iron alloy diffusion, but only a small amount of production per year. For galvanized sheets with deep-drawing performance and high strength, they cannot be produced due to lack of production methods and raw material supply. Zinc-nickel alloy electroplated zinc plates, as well as thick-plated, single-sided thick-plated electro-galvanized plates cannot be produced.

Car plates need to be thin

According to statistics, the automobile body, the chassis (including the suspension system), and the engine three parts account for more than 65% of the total weight of a car. The weight of the outer body and the inner cover, which are almost entirely composed of steel, ranks first. Therefore, reducing the weight of the car body in white has the dual effect of reducing the power consumption of the engine and reducing the total weight of the car, which is an important way to reduce the weight of the car.

Recently, the reporter discovered in an interview with the Beijing Benz Company that the Beijing Chrysler 300S high-end sedan used a high-strength plate. The composition of this plate is different from that of cold-rolled plates except that it contains ordinary plates of iron and carbon, and its phosphorus and The silicon content is higher than that of the ordinary plate, and therefore it shows high strength. After the material is high in strength, the body thickness of the plate is thinner than that of the ordinary steel plate, which can reduce the weight of the car without affecting the overall safety of the car body.

Of course, the use of high-strength plates also has limitations. For example, it is more brittle than normal steel plates and is easy to rebound. Therefore, it is suitable for the outer covers of cars and places where the degree of drawing is not high. This kind of high-strength board is more commonly used in high-end cars, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. However, this type of sheet has high requirements for stamping technology. At present, Beijing Benz has mastered this technology and applied it to production.

A person from a foreign steel company told the reporter that China’s automobile industry has entered a period of rapid growth with cars as the main body, and it is expected that the medium and long-term demand for high-grade automotive steel plates will have greater development. However, from the perspective of the supply of auto panels in China, the contradiction between supply and demand in the market is very prominent, and the market gap is large, and it needs to be imported from abroad. It is estimated that by 2010, the demand for cold-rolled sheet in China will be 32 million tons, and the domestic production capacity will still not be able to meet the market demand.

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