Some more steel steal

By: Deepesh Rathore

In my further conversations with the steel industry executive, I prodded him about various other issues on steel. His company was at that point of time supplying a number of Indian car manufacturers. He divided the car manufacturing fraternity into two parts - the Quality Conscious (QC) and the Quality Unconscious (pun on a bun). While the QC guys had a gazillion tests before they offered a contract for any steel, the QU guys were easier to break into as long as the pricing was right.

The guy then told me about various problems normally associated with the quality of automotive steel.

One of the problems was Sliver (yes Sharon Stone is a distraction for the male of the species), basically caused due to impurity. When any alumina impurity is pressed along with the steel during the rolling process, the impurity too gets stretched along the length of the steel and gets embedded as a very fine line normally invisible to a naked eye. Think of this as a fault line though as this may though result in a sudden shearing of the steel strip or panel along the line of impurity. Not something you would like to put in a car!

Coming back to QC and QU, the executive pointed out that some of the cheapest cars in India used the best steel while some of the expensive ones often compromised on quality. So what did his company do when any lot of steel was rejected by the QC guys? Simple, supply it to the QU dudes who would promptly use it in their inside panels. As long as the price was right!

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