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Re: CNN Reports Low Quality Steel Imported From China

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On May 1, 2008, at 2:28 AM, Conrad Harrison wrote:

There is no point having laws unless have systems to enforce, or appropriate penalties to enforce. Penalties for breach of OHS&W laws and Development laws seem to be considered as operating costs: break the law and pay the
penalty.
Couldn't agree with you more. It's not all that different here. Suppliers will sell you ferromanurium real cheap unless you know better and you make sure they know you know. If you specify something like AISI 1018 or 'mild steel' or worse, depend on your fabricator to cover your ass, you're making a big mistake. When you make an ASTM specification (in it's entirety and no weasel words like 'or equivalent') a purchase requirement and demand at least certificates of compliance if not mill test reports, you've got some recourse. *But* a law like the Fastener Quality Act sets criminal penalties for supplying non-compliant material, so your recourse carries more weight than just sending the stuff back.

Don't bother telling me it's too complicated or impractical. For the last 40 years I've worked with exactly such a system in the pressure vessel and piping industry. You specify a material based on a large subset of ASTM specs with minimum mechanicals, processing variables and chemistry, and you verify that's what was shipped. You can require simple certificates of compliance when you have a trustworthy supplier or you can require mill test reports or even make a few tests of your own upon incoming inspection. Later on, when you do weld procedure qualifications, you'll have the opportunity to double check what you have.

Your best bet is to educate yourself in the area of materials specification, then to use reliable suppliers and a trustworthy purchasing agent. Specify quality materials; deal with people who can supply them and keep your purchasing department away from 'bargain' materials. One of my employers had to learn about this the hard way, and I thank God I was able to learn from their mistake. And I'm also lucky that in my business I get a refresher course from time to time.


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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