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Steel Products from China

Steel Products from China

Steel Products from China

I'm getting kind of leery of the quality of steel pipe and tube from mills in China.  Is anyone seeing problems with conformance to ASTM specs, such as heat treatment, properties, trace elements and defects?

RE: Steel Products from China

Yes. One of the vendors we deal with regarding boiler pressure parts is Chicago Tube and Iron (CTI). They (CTI) will not purchase tube mill products from China unless the customer specifically requests it. I happen to be in the CTI shop an an audit for our parts and one of the floor guys showed me a batch of tubing from China. It was poor quality - surface finish and tolerances.

RE: Steel Products from China

I'd have to do some serious thinking to remember who it was, but I heard a horror story along the same lines and I seem to think it might have been BTA or a similar fabricator who got burnt.  Bottom line was that tubing from China was banned due to quality issues.

This has been 3-4 years back.


RE: Steel Products from China

There have been several discussions on this forum about the quality of boiler and pressure parts from China.

Some of them are:





The general feeling is that if the Chinese can sell an item and the "value added" (i.e. heat treatment) cannot be easily determined from a visual inspection, then they will try to get away with it.

Remember, most of the world operates on a "buyer beware" basis.

A US supplier of finished boiler goods bears a "legal liabilty" for his products if they are found as defective. (He can be sued for consequential damages). This is not true of imported materials.

Remember, the force of US tort law, which protects all of us, ends at the borders...

My opinion only..



RE: Steel Products from China

The shrimps imported from China are poisoned also!
However, we, the rest of the world, are bending backwards to sell them steel, uranium and other materials and then we import everything from them;- then we complain about the quality.
Stop feeding the monster and it won't produce any more c...p.
I don't buy matches anymore, are made in China..

RE: Steel Products from China

We've had bad welded pipe from China, poor welding, split and leak along the weld, we've started to insist that suppliers don't use Chinese materials.


Remember, the force of US tort law, which protects all of us, ends at the borders...

Doesn't protect us in the UK...

RE: Steel Products from China

A lot of China's manufacturer's are on a learning curve. They must first learn that the sales job of getting your product to market is so much easier when you get repeat orders, which means your quality must be good. There are good manufacturer's in China, and bad ones and the key to sorting them out is to have the proper middlemen. Quality control on the buyer's side is essential.

When I was a kid growing up in the 60's, the TV comedians all made fun of Japanese products as being of inferior quality. Then came the big gas shortage, and those funny small, fuel-efficient Japanese cars became very popular. NO ONE makes fun of Japanese products anymore.

Russell Giuliano

RE: Steel Products from China

We do not buy anything from China period.  Too much risk.  In all the bids I have done and seen I have yet to see one "request" Chinese products for any reason.


RE: Steel Products from China

As a fabricator on the Gulf Coast, we are seeing most users/buyers specifying Domestic,Canadian, Western European, and Japanese manufacture for materials.  Many are adding a "melted & manufactured" clause in their specifications.  Substantial AMLs are now the norm and Chinese materials are generally excluded due to poor quality which relates to risk.

RE: Steel Products from China


What is an AML...???


RE: Steel Products from China

it's an "Approved Manufacturer's List"  goes in to more details than just a country of origin list

RE: Steel Products from China

There is quite a bit of seamless tubular manufactured in the US, from Chinese hollows.  It makes sense, the size control, heat treating and NDT are all controlled on this end.  And you save some money on the starting hollows.
The guys that I know that are doing it are sending people to witness every manufacturing run in China.
If you don't care enough to inspect then don't complain to me.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Still trying to help you stop corrosion.
formerly Trent Tube, now Plymouth Tube
or edstainless@earthlink.net

RE: Steel Products from China

The only quality high grade steel mill in China is Bao Steel.  They have the third largest mill in the world, just outside of Shanghai on the port.  They ONLY make high grade steel products, and yes they make tubes as well.  Unfortunately, Bao does NOT export their tubes.  They are 100% used within the borders of China.  In 5-6 more years, as their supply capacity is greater than the internal needs of the country (or upon further consolidation) they may begin to export products oversees, but until then I would highly recommend staying away from purchasing high grade tubing from anywhere else in that country.

RE: Steel Products from China

Some 15 years ago you saw the first Mainland Chinese stands in European Exhibitions trying to sell valves, (not steel tubing in this case) manned by elderly men, (with younger people translating) The message at that time: we have excellent products, they are made as exact copies of Japanese valves....!

Typically you will now meet younger people at the same stands, with good english, explaining in detail pro and cons compared with European products....!

Capital, people and knowledge are imported from Taiwan (and other places), and always when exporting technical projects to China a transfer of knowledge is required as part of the contract...

Oh yes, China is on a learning curve!

And yes, it will take a while, and yes, I have seen some bad fabricated and poorly controlled products......

RE: Steel Products from China

All of the major clients we work with have approved maufacturers lists or approved material suppliers lists.
Vessel / exchangers fabricators have to provide lists of where they will source their materials - from plate through to gaskets.
European, Japanese and North American prodiucts are the preferred and mostly required source - even some Soutgh Korean products and mills are on the black list.

RE: Steel Products from China

My major concern is the level of trace elements that are found in the pipe and tubung produced in the Chineese mills. All mills use scrap steel for their products, but the chineese are using signifigasnt amounts and there currently is not been limits placed on trace elements from the mells.
A group of utilities are working on devevloping a specification which will set the limits for trace elements and then include that in all orders. We will require all suppliers (Domestic and foreign) to comply. Most tube and pipe mills are melting scrap to help keep prices down.

RE: Steel Products from China


Perhaps using less expensive Chinese steel tubular products would be a really good choice for the upgraded 59 year old plants in Massachusetts.


I think that the combination of today's crop of MBAs coupled with ancient power boilers and notorious Chinese steel with "mystery ingredients would lead to "dynamic" results...

Anybody else out there agree ???

-My opinion only....



RE: Steel Products from China


   So... if you use chinese milled tubes with good ole' American milled 5" armour plating for a blast wall around the ancient steam generators, we'd be golden like a shower?

   I like your theory, can I subscribe to your logic?

RE: Steel Products from China

Frankley speaking, you get what you pay for.

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