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Overview of the stainless steel industry chain

Stainless steel industry chain upstream

The upstream of the stainless steel industry chain mainly collects raw materials such as iron ore, nickel ore, chrome ore, manganese ore, and processes and refines the raw materials. The main components of stainless steel are manganese, nickel, chromium and iron, and different types of stainless steel. There is a certain difference in the ratio of elements.

1. Manganese ore

Manganese is widely distributed in nature. There are 150 known manganese minerals, the most important and most economical of which are pyrolusite and manganese ore. Manganese is an important component of 200 series stainless steel, generally accounting for 5.5%-12%. In the 300 series and 400 series, it is not a high proportion, and there are many beneficiation methods for manganese ore.

2. Chrome ore

The addition of chromium is responsible for the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Chrome ore is often processed into ferrochrome, and more than 90% is used in the production of stainless steel, which greatly enhances the hardness and corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Whether in the 200 series, 300 series or 400 series, the proportion is very high, accounting for 10.5%-20%, 15%-25% and 10.5% respectively, of which the 300 series has the highest chromium content.

3. Nickel ore

Nickel is the most important component of 300 series stainless steel. In 300 series stainless steel, the highest cost of nickel can reach 70%, so the fluctuation of nickel price will have a significant impact on its production cost, while the 300 series is currently in China. The largest proportion of stainless steel series, so China’s stainless steel industry demand for nickel is very large, because China is a typical ‘nickel scarce’ country, nickel is heavily dependent on overseas imports such as Indonesia, the Philippines and other countries.

4. Iron ore

Iron is also an important component of stainless steel, and it has an important weight in the 200 series, 300 series, and 400 series. Iron is widely distributed in life and is an indispensable metal in the industrial sector. It is called ‘black metal’. The main iron ore is hematite, magnetite, and siderite.

From the perspective of iron ore production, Australia and Brazil have become major suppliers of iron ore. Among them, the four major mines control more than 70% of the iron ore shipping market. Therefore, global iron ore is mainly from Australia and Brazil. The ore is mainly from the four major mines.

Stainless steel industry chain in the middle

The middle reaches of the stainless steel industrial chain are mainly the smelting of ore obtained by the upstream mining and further mixing, processing and calendaring of the ore, and finally form the intermediate products of stainless steel, including coils, profiles, pipes and strips.

In recent years, with the increasing consumption of stainless steel in China, the production capacity of stainless steel has also increased. China’s stainless steel production enterprises have large differences in production capacity. China’s stainless steel production enterprises have production enterprises such as Taigang, Baosteel, Zhangpu, Guangzhou Lianzhong and Jiugang, which have reached the international advanced equipment level. Qingshan Holding Group is a private enterprise with the highest output. Steel stainless steel (3.78 -0.26%, diagnostic stock) is the largest state-owned enterprise.

Downstream of the stainless steel industry chain

The downstream of the stainless steel industry refers to the production process in which stainless steel sheets, coils, wires and the like are further processed into our actual daily necessities or production tools. The industries that have a large demand for stainless steel mainly have the following fields: construction industry, daily-use products, home appliance industry, machinery industry, and automobile industry.

1. Construction industry

Stainless steel is a very important building material. First of all, its high toughness and high strength of the frame make it have good stretchability, especially the high-quality stainless steel structure can withstand large loads and span large distances. Therefore, high-strength stainless steel can provide excellent structural support, while also allowing material thickness reduction, so it has a certain cost advantage. Secondly, stainless steel has good corrosion resistance due to the addition of chromium, and it is not easy to contact with foreign materials. Chemical reactions; in addition, the variety of stainless steel can meet the different requirements of different standards of different parts of the building; finally, the convenience of stainless steel makes it easy to be quickly transported and installed. At the same time, the use of stainless steel construction in the building can help reduce carbon emissions and the stainless steel alloy can be recycled almost 100%, which is very environmentally friendly. In summary, stainless steel materials are widely used in the construction industry.


2. Commodity industry

Stainless steel products are widely used in the commodity industry. Its corrosion-resistant and heat-resistant properties have great advantages in the manufacture of gas cookers, heating equipment, piping and water storage tanks, cabinet products, food utensils and other daily necessities. China has become the main production base of stainless steel kitchen utensils in the world. In 2012-2018, the output of stainless steel daily-use products in China has increased or decreased. Among them, the national stainless steel daily-use products produced the highest in 2017, with a production of 2.31 million tons. Relatively small in 2018, the output was 1.42 million tons. In 2018, the national stainless steel daily-use products were ranked in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Tianjin, Fujian, Jiangsu, and Shanghai. Among them, Guangdong Province ranked first, and the output of stainless steel daily-use products in 2018 was 988,000 tons, ranking first in the country.

3. Home appliance industry

The home appliance industry is a potential market for stainless steel coil applications, using 400 series stainless steel. The safety and economy of stainless steel in humid and high temperature environments is critical in home appliance manufacturing. The application of stainless steel in the home appliance electronics industry can be divided into two parts: household appliances and small appliances.

In the air conditioner, TV, refrigerator, and washing machine, the washing machine is a stainless steel product that uses stainless steel in the home appliance. The inner cylinder material has high requirements for corrosion resistance. The refrigerator door requires materials with magnetic properties, and the appearance is beautiful. The materials are mostly 430 cold-rolled stainless steel plates of 0.6mm to 0.8mm. The thickness of the cold-rolled plates of the refrigerator is 0.4~0.6mm; the lining with more welded joints is Use austenitic stainless steel such as 304.

For small appliances, microwave ovens, water heaters, rice cookers, dishwashers, etc. are all made of stainless steel. The water heater requires stainless steel for the inner liner and outer casing of the furnace. There is no complicated deformation processing in the inner cavity and outer casing of the microwave oven. Generally, the 430 stainless steel cold-rolled plate with thickness of 0.4~0.5mm is mainly selected. The dishwasher considers the processing deformation to be large, easy to clean, etc. and adopts 304 austenite. stainless steel.

4. Machinery industry

The application of stainless steel in the machinery industry mainly includes the following three parts: transportation equipment, oxygen production equipment and power generation equipment, and food and pharmaceutical machinery equipment industries.

For transportation equipment, the main consumption of cold-rolled stainless steel sheet, the thickness of the sheet is generally 0.4~3.0mm, and the series used are 300 series, such as 304, 310S, 316/316L, etc., used for trains, ship pipelines, kitchen and toilet equipment, carriages, and parts. Warehouse boards, ladder pedals, handrails, interior trims, etc.

For oxygen-making oxygen transmission equipment and power generation equipment, the main demand of users is seamless steel pipe, which is used for oxygen, oxygen and power generation equipment pipelines. The stainless steel models used mainly include HR3C, 310SNBN, Super 304, 347H and so on.

For the food and pharmaceutical machinery and equipment industry, users mainly need stainless steel seamless pipes and firmware such as 304, 316, 316L, and 321, as well as round steel, plates, profiles, etc., which are mainly used in various cans and kettles for food and pharmaceutical industries. For pipes, shafts and shafts, the thickness of stainless steel plates is generally 0.4~1.5mm.

5. Automotive industry

The application of stainless steel in the automotive industry can be broadly classified into five categories: automotive exhaust systems, automotive fuel tanks, automobile frames, automotive parts and automotive trim.

The stainless steel for fuel tanks of automobiles is mainly made of stainless steel. It is required to have excellent press forming properties, weldability and high corrosion resistance. 300 series stainless steels such as SUS304L are used.

The stainless steel for the frame of the car is a high-strength stainless steel plate for automobiles, such as an integral body shell made of ferrite stainless steel, and the service life is generally 15-20 years.

Automotive parts are also heavily used in stainless steel, especially 300 series stainless steel, such as stainless steel sealing ring, stainless steel plate heat exchanger, SUS304, SUS430 and SUS409L are used for materials; stainless steel fasteners for automobile engine system and transmission system, SUS410 is used for materials. SUS304, SUS316, SUS430JIL, SUH660, etc.

Car decoration is also used in stainless steel, such as stainless steel moldings, antennas, wheel covers or handrails for large passenger cars, safety railings, and hanging bars.

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