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Re: CNN Reports Low Quality Steel Imported From China

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Aside from adding a testing expense via the Ch 17 inspections, there is little the EOR can do, in my opinion.  At some point, you have to trust the chain of documents.  Ignoring the international source, the first domestic place for "blame" would be at the supplier/fabricator.  They order and receive steel, and have the volume of product to make spot testing to match the mill certs economical. The GC is probably the deep pocket, but will likely point the finger back at the supplier. Everybody gets caught up when something goes wrong, but honestly - if you go by the reasonable care standard, how many of us have looked at even 1% of our buildings under construction and thought, "that steel just doesn't look like it meets the ASTM spec, I'll order a coupon test of 10% of the steel members just to make sure."  I know I don't - taken to all the products we specify would likely make the practice of engineering even the most common building an impossible task.

Daryl Richardson wrote:
Fellow engineers,
        I hate to be the one to start a new engineering topic in the middle of a beer forum; but if I wait until tomorrow I may forget what I wanted to ask.
    The CNN this evening reported serious problems with poor quality (including low strength) in steel imported from China.  Lou Dobbs seems shocked that no one "in authority" (meaning in government, I suppose) is interested in doing anything about it.
        My limited experience with this sort of thing is that it will be the structural EOR who is held accountable for failures rather than "The Government".
        In the past I have relied on mill test reports for quality assurance; however, in light of the CNN report this may no longer be good enough.  What thoughts do you people have on the subject?  What additional safeguards are required?
        I do not have a project under way at the present time so there is no urgency for a reply on my part, however, some thoughtful discussion on the subject may be very appropriate.
Best regards to all
(and good beer drinking),
H. Daryl Richardson
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