Trade Body Issues Warning on Importing Chinese Structural Steel


UK Steel, the UK steel trade association, has issued safety warning on the use of Chinese structural steel products. According to the notification, Chinese steel plates and sections are found not fully compliant with the specified standards. It must be noted that the trade association has issued a similar warning on importing Chinese rebar in January 2015.

According to European standards, only non-alloy steel is qualified as structural steel. There are strict restrictions on the quantity of other metallic elements in it to be qualified as non-alloy steel. However, the steel plates and sections imported from China are discovered containing small proportions of alloying elements. The imported steel plate and section are found containing elevated levels of copper .

In order to escape from local export tax, the trade association alleged that Chinese manufacturers add alloy elements to plain carbon steel to classify them as ‘alloyed steel’. UK Steel noted all non-alloyed steel exports are subject to export tax in that country.

Adding these alloying elements can cause problems when the steel is welded. It may cause the steel cracking on welding. Furthermore, the crack may be seen only after 48 hours of welding, which by that time could even lead to catastrophic failures. The association called upon all steel customers to check the alloy content of steel before they are used in welding applications.

UK Steel represents the entire steel producing companies and some of the steel processing companies in the UK.