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2015-ford-f-150-photo-564664-s-986x603-626x382It seems we have discussed the use of steel in automobiles in a number of blogs over the last several months. First steel is going to be replaced by aluminum, then an article retracts that idea saying steel is around to stay. I suppose it will always depend on the vehicle but Ford recently announced the final steel-bodied F-150 rolled off the line at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant last month. 

According to caranddriver.com, Ford’s Kansas City facility will continue to manufacture steel-bodied F-150s until the end of the year, the line in Dearborn is being dismantled to make room for the new tooling and equipment required to produce aluminum-bodied trucks for the 2015 model year.

 

The Dearborn plant will be closed until mid-September, putting about 3,000 workers on temporary layoff. Employees will be called back in tiers, with two crews returning on September 21 and a third on October 20. Starting initially with preproduction models, the plant is scheduled to return to full speed before January.

According to experts, the company’s decision to switch its venerated pickup truck to aluminum is not without risk. Ford sold 63,240 F-150s in the U.S. in July, the last full month of production before the $359-million switchover began. In order to keep the cash flowing, Ford needs to expedite the switch but without sacrificing quality.

Read the full article here

 

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At Leveltek International, we are always looking for the incredible things that steel creates. The New Safe Confinement is the structure intended to contain the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine, part of which was destroyed by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

THE SACROPHAGUS 

The sarcophagus that currently encases Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a giant metal concrete structure quickly constructed as an emergency measure in 1986 to halt the release of radiation into the atmosphere following the explosion. The official Russian name is “Obyekt Ukrytiye” which means shelter or covering.

It is estimated that within the shelter there is 200 tons of radioactive corium, 30 tons of contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and plutonium (source Wikipedia). In 1996 it was considered impossible to repair the sarcophagus as radiation levels within it were as high as 10,000 röntgens per hour (background radiation in cities is around 20-50 microröntgens per hour, a lethal dose being 500 röntgens over 5 hours).inside-sarcophagus

A decision to replace the sarcophagus with a “New Safe Containment” was taken and construction of the new structure is now well underway. Originally planned to be in place by 2005, the New Shelter is expected to be completed by the French consortium Novarka in 2015.

 

 

THE CHERBOBYL NEW SAFE CONFINEMENT 

The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement is the largest moveable steel structure out there. It will prevent radioactive leakage from the old nuclear site. Just one way steel is keeping us safe! 

According to The Chernobyl Gallery, The New Safe Confinement (NSC or New Shelter) is the structure, paid for by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, intended to fully contain the damaged nuclear reactor and prevent the reactor complex from leaking further radioactive material into the environment for the next 100 years. The confinement is expected to be completed by the French consortium Novarka in 2015.

 

Photographs of construction progress can be seen at www.chnpp.gov.

 

The word “confinement” is used rather than the traditional “containment” to emphasize the difference between the “containment” of radioactive gases that is the primary focus of most reactor containment buildings, and the “confinement” of solid radioactive waste that is the primary purpose of the New Safe Confinement.

Objectives of the NSC:

 

  • Make the destroyed ChNPP Unit 4 environmentally safe (i.e. contain the radioactive materials at the site to prevent further environmental contamination)
  • Reduce corrosion and weathering of the existing shelter and the Unit 4 reactor building
  • Mitigate the consequences of a potential collapse of either the existing shelter or the Unit 4 reactor building, particularly in terms of containing the radioactive dust that would be produced by such a collapse.
  • Enable safe deconstruction of unstable structures (such as the roof of the existing shelter) by providing remotely operated equipment for their deconstruction.

Watch this YouTube video to learn more about The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement

BENWOOD, WV – Leveltek International, an industry leader that has been operating and producing stretch leveling equipment for more than 20 years, has been selected by BlueScope, an Australian steel company, to provide state-of-the-art stretch-leveling technology for a new coil plate processing line due to start supply in late 2014.

BlueScope announced they were investing in Leveltek International’s stretch leveling technology, along with Bradbury’s CTL equipment for a new coil plate processing line May 19. This technology, not used before in BlueScope’s Australian domestic product range, will provide customers with an industry-leading standard of consistently flat and memory free coil plate products.

“Leveltek is honored to be selected by BlueScope, a well respected leader in the steel industry, to help grow their coil plate business,” says Michael Kelly, President of Leveltek International. “For more than 20 years, we have been committed to providing quality and reliable services to our partners. It is a vote of confidence that BlueScope chose Leveltek and we are thrilled to expand our footprint across the globe.”

Ken Liddle, Market Manager for BlueScope says the decision to invest in the new coil plate processing line was made after considerable feedback from their customers. “Our customers have a preference to buy locally made high-quality steel and through this investment we are able to offer them such a product. The flatness and consistency of stretch-leveling is particularly suited to the industry’s growing preference towards laser cutting and will be appreciated by our customers,” says Liddle.

“BlueScope has utilized the expertise of industry leaders in stretch-leveling technology, Leveltek International LLC in West Virginia, and industry leaders in steel processing equipment, The Bradbury Co., Inc. in Kansas.”

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Leveltek International designs, manufactures and installs stretch leveling systems for retrofit and new light-to-heavy gauge cut-to-length and coil-to-coil lines. Leveltek Stretch Leveling can help you cut sheets that satisfy fabricators’ increased demand for the memory-free steel required by laser and plasma cutting. The company was established in 1997 and has installations worldwide. Leveltek International is headquartered in Benwood, WV, about 60 miles (100km) west of Pittsburgh. For more information, call Leveltek International at 304.232.8530, e-mail sales@leveltek.com or visit http://www.leveltek.com

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on digital marketing, social media, reputation management, brand management and web design. Headquartered in Naples, Fla., with clients throughout the U.S. For more information visit markit-group.com, or call (239) 676-9756.

 

 

 

ImageAccording to an article in modernmetals.com this week, Domestic steel producers are finding it “troubling” that the industry’s highest average output so far this year has used only 77 percent of capacity but foreign-made product is capturing 25 percent and more of U.S. market share. 

Read the entire article by Corinna Petry here: 

“Finished steel imports were up 17 percent, capturing 25 percent of the market during first quarter,” ArcelorMittal USA president and CEO Mike Rippey said during a May 5 press briefing held at the American Iron and Steel Institute’s annual meeting.

AISI and its members have revised the import market share forecast for 2014 upward, based on what’s arrived through April.

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the AISI reported steel import permit applications for April total 3,682,000 net tons, up 14 percent from March final imports.

For the first four months of 2014 (including April SIMA and March final), total steel imports reached 13.4 million net tons, up 29 percent from the same 2013 period. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 28 percent and is 26% year to date, according to AISI.

Rippey estimated the U.S. would consume 112 million tons this year, up 6 percent from last year, but import tons are now expected to climb 13 percent, 10 points above the original growth estimate of 3 percent. “And, U.S. exports will decline more than originally anticipated,” he noted.

“Steel and other manufacturers face challenges [in the form of] trade-distorting practices and state-owned capitalism in China,” Nucor Corp. chairman, president and CEO John J. Ferriola said at the briefing. “A more effective U.S. trade policy is needed. We are advocating nearly daily to get better enforcement [of existing trade laws].”

Two recent countervailing duty preliminary rulings went against petitioners. In the first case, oil country tubular goods, Ferriola said the U.S. Department of Commerce “failed to recognize dumping by Korean and other producers. The government failed to take into account all the evidence.”

In a second case on reinforcing steel, “Commerce ruled Turkey was supplying its steel industry with energy subdsidies but that this was inconsequential in value. Given the energy intensity of steelmaking, the ruling flies in the face of common sense,” Ferriola commented. “The [imposed] margins are lower than we think is fair. We want Commerce to consider all of the domestic industry’s allegations.” 

U.S. producers are among the lowest cost steel manufacturers in the world, enjoying clear advantages. “But the disregard of global free trade agreements as practiced by some foreign companies makes competition difficult,” he concluded.

Photo: Port of Houston Authority 

 

Good news for going green – the U.S. recycling industry has generated over $87 billion in economic activity this year, and currently provides about 463,000 jobs. Scrap companies have contributed an estimated $4 billion to state and local governments.

A recent study with these findings was conducted by John Dunham & Associates Inc., based in New York. The group has estimated that the industry provides revenue of almost $4 billion in state and local taxes and $6.3 billion in federal taxes which are paid by companies and the workers they employ.

The report also explained that U.S. scrap exports to nearly 160 countries brought in $27.8 billion in sales last year. International trade is a key part of the U.S. economy, and almost $2.2 trillion in total goods and services have been exported from the U.S. since 2012.

-AMM

From metalbulletin.com:

Bulk alloys ‘bloodbath’ as prices unwind further

July 01, 2013 – 15:05 GMT Location: London

KEYWORDS: ferro-chrome , ferro-manganese , silico-manganese , ferro-silicon , manganese ore , Europe , Metal Bulletin

European bulk alloys prices suffered fresh shocks on Friday June 28, as prices fell sharply amid protracted poor spot demand, weaker local currencies and desperate selling before the European summer.

Chrome and manganese alloys have been chalking up new multi-year lows for weeks, despite producer complaints over several months that prices are below production costs. “For high carbon ferro-chrome, 96 cents is a good average for the high; it’s a bloodbath. And silico-manganese, that’s another bloodbath,” one bulk alloys supplier said. High carbon ferro-chrome is at its lowest level since December 2009, trading at 90-96 cents per lb, down from 92-98 cents on June 21.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON METAL BULLETIN