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Re: CNN Reports Low Quality Steel Imported From China

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On Apr 30, 2008, at 8:59 PM, Daryl Richardson wrote:

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.
I checked the CNN site and couldn't find a mention of this. Could you provide a URL?

There isn't anything new here. Probably everyone remembers the 'counterfeit bolts'--low-grade fasteners with bogus markings for higher grades. The problem has been largely corrected, but bogus high- strength bolts still turn up. Then there was an episode of counterfeit pipe flanges--I think most of these came from China. The flanges were marked as conforming to the customary ASTM spec for forged flanges but it fact they were made up of two cast pieces welded together. Worse, the weld was slugged--wire was set in the weld groove and weld metal simply laid over the wire insert. The one specific example I know of was found during a hydrotest of a newly fabricated steam piping section when the weld cracked and the flange started leaking. If this had happened when the line was carrying high pressure steam it would have been a lot worse.

The problem goes a helluva lot further than whether the contractor or the engineer gets hung out to dry. Blaming someone isn't going to bring back destroyed machinery or buildings and it sure as hell won't make injuries or deaths go away. The counterfeit fastener plague eventually led to the Fastener Quality Act which made it a crime to misrepresent fastener chemical or mechanical properties. Might be a good idea to start requiring your service center to start issuing certs when he sells you structural steel.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw/



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