Why China is looking for non-fiber metals as it faces climate change
CHINA has been looking for the right non-bonded metal to replace steel for more than a decade, and it is now ready to move ahead with a $20 billion project to replace its biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
But the plan is a risky one that could jeopardize the countrys carbon-emitting economy, analysts say.
Non-ferric metals like aluminum, titanium and cobalt have become key components in the worlds leading car and aerospace industries and will be critical in meeting China’s ambitious goal of limiting the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2050.
But unlike the metals, they are largely used in non-essential applications like batteries and fuel cells, and are also being used as a fuel in new vehicles and solar cells.
Nonferrous materials, which are composed mostly of iron or cobalt, have been used in industrial applications since the 1970s and are now more prevalent than ever.
A Chinese steel plant that used to make lightweight aluminum alloy has been turned into a massive super-fabricated factory to produce a whole range of nonferrous components, including aluminum, aluminum alloy and cobblestones.
The plan for the $20-billion project includes the use of metal pipes to create the new super-fibrous steel, but the steel is also being made from cobblestone, and the new materials will be used to create a variety of other products, such as lightweight composite composite and high-strength concrete, according to Xinhua news agency.
The company that will manufacture the steel, which is in the process of being built in Guangdong province, is known as Shanghai Steel Group and has the right to operate a factory on a 50,000-acre site at a cost of $1.2 billion, Xinhua reported.
The government has announced that it will build the plant in a bid to reduce the cost of its carbon-polluting smelting process, which has cost the government billions of dollars in subsidies and pollution charges.
But while the new plant may make the most economic sense, it could also jeopardize its competitiveness with other Asian countries, which have been building their own super-dense super-ferrite and super-crude steel plants, as well as new plants in the United States.
The steel used in the project is called a super-hydroxypropyl-2-hydroxymethylbenzene, or HTPB2-O2, or HSPB.
It is also the same material that has been used to form the most-used high-performance jet engines on the market, and is being used in many new vehicles.
Chinese officials have been working to get HTPB-2O2 to replace a variety from the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Singapore as China gears up to be the world’s top steel producer by 2030, Xinjiang Daily reported.
China’s government has said that HTPB is more environmentally friendly than steel due to its high density, strength and flexibility.
China is currently using the HTPB metal to make almost 80% of the world production of high-speed rail and the world will need as many as 1.5 million HTPB 2O2 pipes by 2025, the Chinese news agency Xinhua said.
But even if HTPB can be made to replace the steel that is used in super-heavyweights such as super-torsion beam trains, the new HTPB will have a lot more drawbacks.
A big problem with HTPB steel is that it has no inherent corrosion resistance, and a few years ago the government ordered a new steel-making plant in the northwestern province of Shandong to make HTPB instead, the Xinhua report said.
In China, steel has a history of being used to build super-lightweight aircraft and other large-scale products.
The main problems with HTP steel are its low melting point, high density and low corrosion resistance.
The HTPB’s durability is also limited by its high melting point and low hardness.
The researchers of the HTPF project are working to develop HTPB, and they are aiming to build it in Guangzhou, Xinwen reported.
HTPB has been the material of choice for super-high-speed trains in the last few decades, and Chinese officials are currently working to speed up the construction of super-large super-freighters to replace some of the super-super-fast rail lines in the country, Xinlan reported.
But HTPB does not have a place in the future of high speed rail because of the low density, high melting and low toughness.
The next step is to convert HTPB to super-cubic steel, the report said, but it is unclear whether HTPB could be used as the super alloy material.
HTP is also not suitable for jet engines because it is extremely brittle and is prone to cracking and cracking fractures.