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Old 02-18-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default Ramblings about U.S. steel

Theres garbage chinese steel and theres good chinese steel which is no different than garbage american steel and good american steel.

I've worked with all 4 on lathes and mills... One cheap steel is no different than the other cheap steel, they both cut like ****.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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I also know that in some US factories they sample the steel and view the grain structure under a microscope to make sure it's good.
Some?



I've seen a fair amount of steel mills in the US and they all "sample the steel and view the grain structure under a microscope".

I'd also be willing to bet that every mill in the US that melts, casts, and rolls spring steel wire does this.

Even those making merchant grade re-bar will sample the chemistry, otherwise you risk disaster when trying to cast...

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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The US is physically unable to manufacture some of the higher grade alloys of steel available from Asia and Europe because we have not modernized our production techniques and facilities. For many years (since 1960) we did not need to compete on quality because tariffs on foreign steel were implemented and periodically raised to artificially protect the unions. Therefore we competed with an unfair price advantage such that our quality did not improve to mirror the advances in other parts of the world. So let's not get too haughty about American steel because "it ain't all that." The good stuff comes from Japan and some sources in Europe.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
The US is physically unable to manufacture some of the higher grade alloys of steel available from Asia and Europe because we have not modernized our production techniques and facilities. For many years (since 1960) we did not need to compete on quality because tariffs on foreign steel were implemented and periodically raised to artificially protect the unions. Therefore we competed with an unfair price advantage such that our quality did not improve to mirror the advances in other parts of the world. So let's not get too haughty about American steel because "it ain't all that." The good stuff comes from Japan and some sources in Europe.
Total BS, I've been in some US specialty plants that produce higher quality steel than China or France. Of course, it depends on what the product is being used for, like unique military parts and very few places make that stuff, same place is also a supplier for Snap On.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #5
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Total BS, I've been in some US specialty plants that produce higher quality steel than China or France. Of course, it depends on what the product is being used for, like unique military parts and very few places make that stuff, same place is also a supplier for Snap On.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 AM   #6
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^^^
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
The US is physically unable to manufacture some of the higher grade alloys of steel available from Asia and Europe because we have not modernized our production techniques and facilities. For many years (since 1960) we did not need to compete on quality because tariffs on foreign steel were implemented and periodically raised to artificially protect the unions. Therefore we competed with an unfair price advantage such that our quality did not improve to mirror the advances in other parts of the world. So let's not get too haughty about American steel because "it ain't all that." The good stuff comes from Japan and some sources in Europe.

What higher grade alloys of steel do you speak of exactly?

What modern production techniques are we lacking?

Please sir, continue to talk out of your a$$, I quite enjoy it.

Which steel companies in Japan make the best steel? What quantifies it as "the good stuff"?

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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Steel - It was discussed in a PolySci class way back when I was in college. The prof was talking about the unintended consequences of tariffs and used the tariffs to protect the domestic steel industry as an example. He might have been talking out of his ***, but I don't think so. He had plenty of supporting details, yada yada. I know it doesn't matter at this point. Sorry for derailing the thread on spring rates for ebay springs.

Related light reading:
http://www.industrystudies.pitt.edu/...ingfactors.pdf

American steel producers couldn't produce decent enough quality steel for the new automobile plants being set up by the Japanese in America. Japanese engineers had to come over and help American steel mills redesign some of their processes to make suitable quality steel.

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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American steel producers couldn't produce decent enough quality steel for the new automobile plants being set up by the Japanese in America. Japanese engineers had to come over and help American steel mills redesign some of their processes to make suitable quality steel.
I wouldn't say the US steel producers "couldn't" produce decent enough quality steel, but that they didn't have to up until the mid 80s. Maybe because of tariffs, but more likely, mostly because their main customers (US OEMs) didn't require it. The US Steel mills weren't going to go out of their way to make steel that was higher in quality than what their customers were asking for, that's just economics. But I wouldn't say they couldn't produce good enough steel, just that they didn't need to to satisfy their customers.

When the new customers came and asked for higher quality steels (Foreign OEMs) they obliged. I'm sure they had to make some changes to their practices, and I'm sure there was technical know-how sharing with Japanese steel makers, and I'm sure their was some investment made in newer equipment, etc. etc. But to say US Steel maker's couldn't make high quality steel is a gross over simplification of the reality, that of ~30 years ago.

Of course, this only applies to Automotive grade sheet steel, a tiny portion of the steel market as a whole. Production of steel sheet and steel bar made for spring material is completely different, and a whole separate story.

Anyways, sorry for the thread derailment, please continue as if I never posted...
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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Hey look, another good thread ruined by people who cant shut the **** up about **** that doesnt matter.

Stop being butthurt because someone is saying that Americuh is anything less than the best in the world at something. We dont manufacture **** anymore. Its a service driven economy, that is fact.
You act like sixshooter is burning a flag or some ****.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Full_Tilt_Boogie View Post
Hey look, another good thread ruined by people who cant shut the **** up about **** that doesnt matter.

Stop being butthurt because someone is saying that Americuh is anything less than the best in the world at something. We dont manufacture **** anymore. Its a service driven economy, that is fact.
You act like sixshooter is burning a flag or some ****.
I am anything but butthurt about the fact we are discussing the American Steel industry and it's shortcomings.

What prompted my responses in this thread (and the original) was the misinformation being spread. It was said that "America cannot physically produce certain high quality steels" and that is far from the truth. I am no cheerleader for the U.S. steel industry and that was not the intent of my post, only to correct mis-information.


Back to the discussion, (not that anyone cares, or is still reading) here is an example I thought of that pertains to our miatas.

People on this website are happy to spend a decent chunk of money to upgrade the important engine fasteners with ARP products. In doing so they are replacing the OEM fasteners which are made with "Ultra high quality Japanese steel" with fasteners which are made from U.S. sourced steel, made with "inferior" processes.

ARP fasteners are made from steel wire that is melted in an EAF furnace, generally regarded has a lower quality way to melt steel. EAF steel almost always has higher levels of residual contaminants then BOF steel.

The OEM Mazda fasteners are made from BOF Japanese steel, a "cleaner" steel.

So if you truly think the highest quality steels only come from Japan and Europe, please stop buying ARP fasteners made with junky US steel.

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #12
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US Manufacturing output is NOT on the decline.
The # of people employed by manufacturing is, but not the output.
Advanced economies do this - make more with fewer workers - due to increased capital investment to make workers more productive, and because wages even for menial work are bidded high.

http://investing.curiouscatblog.net/...japan-germany/

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
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I really hope that everything in my initial post is no longer true and based on old information. The paper I referenced above was from 1997 and I went to college in the early '90s. The prof could have been spinning that same yarn for 5 years at that point for all I know. So, yeah, it could all be old news now. I hope the status of our steel industry is much better now. BTW, have they discovered a cure for polio yet?
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
I am anything but butthurt about the fact we are discussing the American Steel industry and it's shortcomings.

What prompted my responses in this thread (and the original) was the misinformation being spread. It was said that "America cannot physically produce certain high quality steels" and that is far from the truth. I am no cheerleader for the U.S. steel industry and that was not the intent of my post, only to correct mis-information.


Back to the discussion, (not that anyone cares, or is still reading) here is an example I thought of that pertains to our miatas.

People on this website are happy to spend a decent chunk of money to upgrade the important engine fasteners with ARP products. In doing so they are replacing the OEM fasteners which are made with "Ultra high quality Japanese steel" with fasteners which are made from U.S. sourced steel, made with "inferior" processes.

ARP fasteners are made from steel wire that is melted in an EAF furnace, generally regarded has a lower quality way to melt steel. EAF steel almost always has higher levels of residual contaminants then BOF steel.

The OEM Mazda fasteners are made from BOF Japanese steel, a "cleaner" steel.

So if you truly think the highest quality steels only come from Japan and Europe, please stop buying ARP fasteners made with junky US steel.

So what you're saying is that APR fasteners are more likely to fail in fatigue due to a discontinuity in they crystal structure of the steel caused by a higher likely hood of molecular contamination. They should obviously use vacuum arc remelting.

Nerds, blow your wad, Advanced Engine Materials, by EPI Inc.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full_Tilt_Boogie View Post
Hey look, another good thread ruined by people who cant shut the **** up about **** that doesnt matter.
Said with great irony?

Quote:
Stop being butthurt because someone is saying that Americuh is anything less than the best in the world at something. We dont manufacture **** anymore. Its a service driven economy, that is fact.
You act like sixshooter is burning a flag or some ****.
While it is a popular trope, what is not a fact is that America doesn't "manufacture **** anymore." It is the top one or two countries in the world in terms of manufacturing output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
What prompted my responses in this thread (and the original) was the misinformation being spread.
High five for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
US Manufacturing output is NOT on the decline.
The # of people employed by manufacturing is, but not the output.
Advanced economies do this - make more with fewer workers - due to increased capital investment to make workers more productive, and because wages even for menial work are bidded high.
And the number of people employed by manufacturing may be swinging back in a very long-term (multi-decade) "reversion to the mean."

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
I really hope that everything in my initial post is no longer true and based on old information. The paper I referenced above was from 1997 and I went to college in the early '90s. The prof could have been spinning that same yarn for 5 years at that point for all I know. So, yeah, it could all be old news now. I hope the status of our steel industry is much better now. BTW, have they discovered a cure for polio yet?
I can't speak to the steel industry specifically, but the whole world is experiencing some really interesting rebalancing. China and India are a huge portion of the global population but, for decades, have been a relatively small portion of global economic output. The reverse was true for the USA. That's gradually drifting to a "more moderate" level for each.

Meanwhile, the things that drove the growth of China (and other emerging markets) as an export powerhouse are also starting to swing like a pendulum back the other way. Their wages have grown drastically while those of Americans has stayed relatively stagnant.

Brent crude oil - which is what diesel ship and jet fuels are refined from - is a global commodity that has increased dramatically in price over the past three decades. American (WTI) crude oil trades at a significant discount to Brent. US natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) also trade at a significant discount to their global counterparts.


Double digit year-over-year wage growth + expensive shipping costs + long shipping times + expensive raw material input costs + separation of design and engineering from manufacturing

vs.

Stagnant year-over-year wage growth + reduced shipping costs + reduced shipping times + discounted raw material input costs + close cooperation of design and engineering with manufacturing + American technology and supply chain innovation


You have already seen and will continue to see "onshoring" or whatever the buzzword will become for US companies moving manufacturing back to the USA from overseas. GE has already done some of it with their appliance center in Kentucky. Dow and DuPont have recently opened or plan to open their first new plants in the USA in decades. Siemens is expanding, etc.

Jason's point still stands, though. Because of automation and technology, the number of people employed will likely never hit the levels (as a percentage of total US population) that it might have been in the 1940s and 1905s.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
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So what you're saying is that APR fasteners are more likely to fail in fatigue due to a discontinuity in the crystal structure of the steel caused by a higher likely hood of molecular contamination. They should obviously use vacuum arc remelting.
No, I'm not saying that.

Your post brings out the irony in my statement. As far as I know, they do use the VAR process on the ARP material. The steel manufacturer that supplies ARP has all of those fancy melting technologies (VIM, ESR, VAR, etc. etc.). A lot of the steel and high temperature alloys (inconel, etc.) used in the planes you asshats fly in every day come from that steel mill. But, the initial melting of the ARP material is done in a plain ole EAF furnace, inferior to the intial melting process (BOF) of the Japanese OEM fasteners.

The point is, there's a lot more that goes into making quality steel and steel alloys then just the equipment and processes used. And, there are steel companies in the US that have the same capabilities and quality as steel mills in Japan and EU.

OK, I'm officially bored with this now.

Cheers
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