PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) shipped the first batch of rolled products with new consumer properties. Improved quality characteristics of hot-rolled sheet metal are obtained through the use of a unique technology which cleans scale from the surface of the sheet.
The emergence of new steel products with unique quality properties was made possible by the implementation of a project by Kama-Trade Tatarstan to construct a Brandsteel Service Metalworking Centre (SMC) which has the capacity to produce 240 thousand tonnes per year. This project was implemented with the active support and assistance of MMK. Magnitka is also the main partner of SMC, which will provide services for MMK in the further processing of Magnitogorsk metal. The plant is interested in improving the consumer properties of hot-rolled products and fulfilling the growing requirements of consumers from year to year on the surface quality (colour, appearance) of finished products. Now MMK has the opportunity to supply existing and potential customers (primarily automotive companies) with a new type of metal with high added value, which has no analogues in the Russian market.
The revolutionary technology for processing thick sheet metal EPS – Eco Pickled Surface (eco-etching of surfaces) is used in the making of new products. This technology has no analogues in Russia and Europe. An alternative to EPS technology is the operation of hydrochloric or sulphur acid etching, traditionally used in metallurgical enterprises. Unlike acid etching, EPS is a mechanical process that uses a cornerstone steel shot and water with a corrosion inhibitor circulating in the system for reuse.
EPS-process is environmentally friendly, because it does not require the use of hazardous chemicals, as in conventional etching. This provides a higher surface quality when removing scale and there is no surface hardening and a guarantee of safety from corrosion for up to six months after cleaning without oiling (subject to storage conditions). This means that no solvents are required to remove the oil before painting. In fact, EPS creates a new surface through the removal of secondary scale. On this new surface there are no undesirable effects such as shells, rust or silicon strips and etchings, often found on etched and oil-coated materials.