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Academician Zhang Shourong said that the past, present and future of China's electrical steel industry

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  Zhang Shourong Chen Zhuo
  In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China's electrical steel industry has relied on the introduction of advanced technology, and has embarked on a road of self-development that digests, absorbs, masters technology and forms capabilities. 40 years of reform and opening up is also the 40 years of rapid development and growth of China's electrical steel industry. Today, China's electrical steel production ranks first in the world. Today, reviewing the development history of China's electrical steel industry, summing up development experience, and analyzing current problems, the purpose is to achieve better development of this industry.
 
  One meter seven rolling mill and the development of China's electrical steel
  When New China was founded in 1949, China's annual output of crude steel was only 158,000 tons. The technology and equipment of the steel plant are very backward. There is no complete smelting and cold rolling production technology, nor do they have their own cold-rolled electrical steel products, let alone the electrical steel industry that meets the needs of national economic construction.
  In August 1972, after Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai approved the report of the State Planning Commission on the introduction of the one-meter-seven mill, WISCO (now Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. Qingshan Base, the same below) built a metre of WISCO in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Metallurgy and Hubei Province. Under the leadership of the seven rolling mill engineering headquarters, the introduction of the one-meter seven-mill system was started. The contract was finally signed in 1974. Construction and production preparations began in 1975, and trial production began in late 1978.
  Before 1978, we did not have cold-rolled silicon steel technology, only produced hot-rolled silicon steel sheets, and required a large amount of imported cold-rolled silicon steel every year. After the trial of the silicon steel project introduced by WISCO in 1978, the output was very small. By the end of 1981, a total of 132,991 tons of trial production was produced, of which qualified products were 21,846 tons of oriented silicon steel and 33,377 tons of non-oriented silicon steel. By 1982, due to the lack of supporting the previous process and the technical level, China's silicon steel raw materials, surface coatings, rolls and other major spare parts have to rely on imports.
  In 1981, WISCO Silicon Steel Sheet Factory introduced technology to promote Japan's Total Quality Management (TQC) experience. In 1982, WISCO established a process from smelting to cold-rolled silicon steel according to the patent technology of Japan's Nippon Steel Co., Ltd., laying a foundation for China's electrical steel production. In 1996, WISCO introduced technology for the second time. It mainly introduced the production technology of HIB steel represented by Z8 as general oriented electrical steel and Z6H.
  From 1978 to 2008, China's national economy developed rapidly. At that time, the output and variety of domestic steel products could not meet the growing demand. It also needed to import millions of tons of steel, including high-end cold-rolled and silicon steel, from 2001 to 2008. The average annual import of silicon steel is about 1,156,200 tons.
  The author believes that in the past 40 years, China's electrical steel industry has embarked on a road of self-development that digests and introduces advanced technologies to form production capacity. Innovation is an attempt based on the introduction of advanced technology.
 
  The transition from introduction and digestion to self-development
  In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China's electrical steel industry has continued to grow and develop by learning advanced foreign technology, digesting and mastering foreign advanced patented technologies. Over the past 40 years, we have developed a series of products with independent intellectual property rights, perfected the production process, and continuously improved the equipment. After long-term efforts, China's electrical steel production technology has developed rapidly, and the output of electrical steel ranks first in the world. The development stage of China's electrical steel industry can be roughly divided into the following periods:
  The first is the introduction of the digestive period (1974-1986). In 1974, with the approval of the state, WISCO introduced the world's advanced cold-rolled electrical steel production patent technology and complete set of process equipment from Japan Nippon Steel for the first time. The annual production design capacity of the project is 70,000 tons, including 42,000 tons of non-oriented steel. Oriented steel (including HIB steel) 28,000 tons. The project began construction on September 5, 1974, and was commissioned in the second half of 1978.
  The second is the introduction of the absorption period (1987-1997). Over the years, on the basis of digesting and introducing technology, in order to meet the needs of the country for high-magnetic-oriented electrical steel, we have continuously improved the management and quality and continuous improvement of the quality, so that the economic and technical indicators of electrical steel and the physical quality of the products have reached The level of similar foreign products has completed the technical transformation of the overall high magnetic induction and low iron loss of oriented electrical steel, and achieved stable production of high magnetic induction oriented electrical steel (HIB steel). Since 1986, we have developed domestically oriented silicon steel grade magnesia, domestic T4 and other non-oriented silicon steel coatings, domestic rolls and other ancillary products, the domestic first tunnel-oriented electrical steel high temperature annealing furnace, WISCO two silicon steel production equipment. There are also some examples of self-developed, including the world's first two-layer steel strip continuous annealing furnace for the purpose of complete decarburization annealing of oriented electrical steel and its related processes, two high-temperature annular annealing furnaces and other 23 silicon steel production lines. .
  The third is the rapid development period (1998~2015). During this period, China's electrical steel production technology has developed rapidly, and electrical steel production ranks first in the world.
  Since entering the “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan”, China's electrical steel industry is moving towards high quality development. By the end of 2017, China had obtained 5,497 patents related to electrical steel, including 2,993 invention patents and 2,504 utility model patents. As of the first half of 2018, there were about 21 non-oriented electrical steel production enterprises and about 18 oriented electrical steel production enterprises in China, and its production capacity has reached about 12.375 million tons, including 10.82 million tons of non-oriented electrical steel and 1.555 million oriented electrical steel. Ton.
  In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China's electrical steel industry has undergone earth-shaking changes. The output of oriented electrical steel increased from 3 tons in 1978 to 1,016,600 tons in 2017, and the output of non-oriented electrical steel increased from 991 tons in 1978 to 8,994,400 tons in 2017. In 1993, China's non-oriented electrical steel began to export, and in 2001, oriented electrical steel began to export. In 2017, China changed from a net importer of electrical steel to a net exporter, breaking the long-term dependence on imports. As of the end of August 2018, in the past 40 years, WISCO has produced a total of 2,836,318 tons of electrical steel, including 6,55,679,700 tons of oriented electrical steel and 1,731,501 tons of non-oriented electrical steel.
  At present, China's electrical steel has been widely used in large transformers, large generators, electric motors and household appliances, such as Xiaolangdi Project, Three Gorges Project, Qinghai-Tibet Railway Project, Beijing Electron-Positron Collider Project, Shenliu and Shenqi Manned Spacecraft. National key projects and fields such as engineering, high-speed rail, robots, and new energy vehicles.
 
  The outstanding problems in China's electrical steel industry
  At present, there are several outstanding problems in China's electrical steel industry:
  The first is overcapacity in structurally redundant construction. Judging from the existing production capacity and output, China's electrical steel is mainly structurally surplus, and the surplus of medium and low grade non-oriented electrical steel is 20%~30%, and the surplus of general oriented electrical steel (CGO) is 20%. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent new excesses in production capacity such as high-grade, high-efficiency non-oriented electrical steel. At present, there are more than 30 enterprises producing cold-rolled electrical steel in China, but 80% of them are new-born electrical steel producers that have emerged in recent years. In the meantime, many enterprises have introduced equipment, expanded production capacity, increased production, and obtained benefits. Their development has certain blindness. The quality level and technology accumulation of many enterprises are still at a relatively preliminary stage. Most of the products produced are low- and medium-quality products with low technical quality. Most of the production technologies are tracking, imitating, and not paying attention to the core technology of independent intellectual property rights. Innocent attention to the development of new technologies and new products. Some companies rely on cost, price, and sales to compete in a limited market, and quality improvement and technological progress have also been placed in a secondary position. At present, there are still enterprises in the construction of electrical steel production lines, the state should develop policies and regulations from the aspects of supply, energy conservation, environmental protection, innovation, etc., control the release or expansion of production capacity, accelerate the elimination of low-end backward products, and the national regulatory authorities should increase supervision. Or control the strength of the approval of electrical steel projects.
  Second, the number of top-end high-end products is small, and the quality stability is not enough. From the perspective of China's high-end electrical steel production in 2017, the proportion of top-end high-end products is not high, the user demand can not be fully satisfied; the production control level must be improved, and the original grade pass rate should be improved, and the number of unqualified products or defective products should be reduced. Improve management level and comprehensive product quality; focus on the development of low-noise transformers for domestic large-scale power generation equipment, energy-saving transformers, energy-efficient motors, traffic-driven motors, new energy electric vehicle motors, drones and high-end home appliances. Preparation technology of oriented electrical steel, heat-resistant oriented electrical steel for three-dimensional coil core, non-oriented electrical steel for thin gauge, non-oriented electrical steel for high-end high-efficiency motor, non-oriented electrical steel for medium-frequency high-efficiency motor, high-strength non-oriented electrical steel .
  Third, the awareness of implementing national standards for products is not strong. On May 1, 2017, the state officially implemented the new national standard (GB/T2521.1-2016) “Full-process cold-rolled electrical steel Part 1: Grain non-oriented steel strip (sheet)” and (GB/T2521.2 -2016) “Full-process cold-rolled electrical steel part 2: grain oriented steel strip (sheet)”. The implementation of the new national standards not only eliminated the backward product grades in the original standards, but also improved the technical threshold of magnetic performance levels and indicators, and the new standards are in line with international standards and have Chinese characteristics, forming two separate product standards. The revision and implementation of the new standards will further standardize corporate behavior and achieve an organic combination and application of national standards and corporate standards. By implementing and implementing new standards, it will help to improve market competition and supply environment. We must implement the new national standards for electrical steel, vigorously promote new national standards, let users better understand and recognize the importance of new national standards, and sign higher standards with users under the premise of meeting new national standards. Technical agreements to meet the needs of users and promote the healthy development of the electrical steel industry and downstream industries. At the same time, it calls for strengthening the authority of the national standards and market execution, and achieving the unity of the market platform and the fairness of the competition.
  In addition, we must also pay attention to maintaining market order and standardizing corporate market behavior. Newly put into production should enter the market after the products are qualified, further standardize the silicon steel raw material market and strengthen the technological progress of private enterprise electrical steel.
  How to achieve high quality development in China's electrical steel industry
  Practice has proved that WISCO's decision to introduce patented technology for cold-rolled electrical steel is correct. China's electrical steel industry has also embarked on a self-development path of digesting, absorbing, mastering technology and forming capabilities, but in the future, China's electrical steel industry will introduce advanced technology from abroad. The possibility of technology is not great, and technological development must rely on independent development and original innovation. During the “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” period, the electrical steel industry should follow the national “One Belt and One Road” policy and the overall planning of the power grid upgrade and the development of the central and western regions, in accordance with the relevant industry energy conservation and emission reduction, the market demand for higher-end products continues to grow, The road to sustainable development.
 
  The author suggests that the following work should be done:
  First, increase investment in science and technology, and focus on supporting the research work of key common technologies for electrical steel. For example, the texture in electrical steel is a key factor to improve magnetic properties, but the concept of texture is more abstract and difficult to understand and master. Moreover, texture control in the processing of electrical steel involves more metallurgical theories, some of which are still worldwide problems. Therefore, this issue is highly academic and technical, and is one of the key scientific issues in the development of electrical steel technology. It is also an academic issue of universal concern in the development of electrical steel in the world today. The challenge of this problem is that the application potential of conventional texture control techniques and principles seems to be exhausted, and new technologies and related principles need to be developed to make breakthroughs in electrical steel.
  The second is to give full play to the advantages of industry associations and higher education institutions, carry out high-level international exchanges and cooperation, and strengthen the training of electrical steel science and technology talents.
  The third is to reduce the preparation cost of electrical steel, deepen the research of CSP (thin slab continuous casting and rolling) process to produce oriented electrical steel technology, realize the industrialization of short steel process technology of electrical steel and create a new technology with Chinese intellectual property rights. China is the most densely populated country in the world of thin slab continuous casting and rolling, and its production cost is low. Existing industrial research shows that this process can be used to produce qualified oriented electrical steel and achieve large-scale industrial production. If the research is continued, it is expected that the overall production cost will be close to the high-grade non-oriented electrical steel, forming China's innovative technology and achieving significant energy-saving effects.
  Fourth, around the national energy conservation and consumption reduction requirements, focus on the development of ultra-low iron loss oriented electrical steel preparation technology, ultra-high magnetic induction oriented electrical steel preparation technology to meet the development needs of the national grid; around the requirements of sustainable development of the electrical steel industry, strengthen the implementation of national standards To improve the national standard threshold for electrical steel, to eliminate the low-end product grades that do not meet market demand, to eliminate the backward production capacity of electrical steel production enterprises; to focus on the development of thin gauge non-oriented electrical steel preparation technology, high-tech high-efficiency electrical steel steel preparation technology, intermediate frequency High-efficiency motor electrical steel preparation technology, high-strength electrical steel preparation technology, to meet the steel of more than 1 million kilowatts, ultra-supercritical motor steel, pumped storage power generation steel, high-efficiency energy-saving motor steel, traffic drive motor, high-end appliances, etc. Demand; promote and carry out life-cycle pollution-free electrical steel preparation technology, life-cycle low-energy electrical steel preparation technology, low-noise electrical steel preparation technology, truly meet the requirements of China's rapid development of national economy.
  In the future, China's electrical steel industry must face the world, fully realize China's production, development, technology transfer, and achieve the goal of serving the world; in the forefront of the world in terms of production capacity, quantity and quality, in production technology, product research and development, technology reserves and The world is synchronizing, making greater contributions to the number of intellectual property, patent technology, and invention patents.