ALUMINIZED SHEET Cooling markets for steels conditioned to take the heat

Dec 01, 2007 | 01:22 PM |

In steel, when the heat is literal, customers can't just turn to sunscreen. Instead, they look to aluminized sheet steels for use in applications where heat resistance is of paramount importance, such as automotive exhaust systems, some types of cookware, furnace heat exchangers and even some parts of barbecue grills.

Aluminized sheet is a comparatively small niche market in the United States, with only three companies--AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio; ArcelorMittal USA, Chicago; and Wheeling-Nisshin Inc., Follansbee, W.Va.--producing the product for a market that consumes an average of between 700,000 and 780,000 tons annually.

AK Steel and ArcelorMittal manufacture the product, while Wheeling-Nisshin, a joint venture of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., Wheeling, W.Va., and Japan's Nisshin Inc., applies the coating to a carbon steel substrate provided by its parent companies. The coating, comprised of about 91-percent aluminum and 9-percent silicon, is applied via a hot-dip process. Three types of aluminized sheet are made Type I, which is used for automotive exhaust systems and heat exchangers; Type I stainless 409, used for long-life auto exhaust systems; and aluminized Type II, which goes into construction products and such items as corrugated pipe. Type II aluminized sheet is made by continuous hot-dip coating of....

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