CHICAGO U.S. Steel Corp.
and Kobe Steel Ltd. commissioned the new continuous annealing
line at their Pro-Tec Coating Co. joint venture in Leipsic,
Ohio, on May 13.
Using heat-treat and quenching
technology, the new line will supply advanced high-strength
steel (AHSS) and ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) with a
strength of 590 megapascals (MPa) and above for the automotive
industry, the companies said.
Pro-Tecs new line has a
capacity of 500,000 tons per year.
"The investment in this
continuous annealing line represents more than just the future
of this facility. It also represents the future for automotive
steel products and the applications in which they are used,"
U.S. Steel chairman and chief executive officer John Surma said
at the commissioning ceremony.
"U.S. Steel and Kobe Steel saw
an opportunity for our Pro-Tec joint venture to help our
automotive customers overcome the challenges" associated with
corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, which will
require vehicles to have an average 54.5 miles per gallon by
2025, Surma said, noting that the use of high-strength steels
has doubled in the past 10 years.
Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel and Japan-based Kobe Steel
invested $400 million in the new line, which will require 80
additional full-time workers.