NEW YORK Virina
Steel Co., a new player in the high-strength steel market, is
seeking to establish a foothold in the United States and will
apply for patents for its steel formula by the end of this
week, vice president of sales and marketing John Wong told
The company has tested
a formula that it would license to third-party mill producers
to melt their material. The formula could be used for a variety
of steel products, including reinforcing bar, oil country
tubular goods and flat-rolled sheet, Wong said.
The company has sent
material to two U.S. steel pipe makers for testing and plans to
begin shipping commercially in Asia by the end of the
steel formulas have tensile strengths of between 800 and 2,000
megapascals, company sources said.
everyones goal is to increase tensile yield strength of
steel and use less," Wong said. "We have a high-strength steel
with ultrafine microstructure, and I think were going to
be a factor in the industry and we hope to be a large
Virina made its first
100-ton pour for testing through a Taiwanese mill less than
three months ago, John Peng, a sales manager at Virina, told
AMM. Several employees have Taiwanese roots and the
company is initially looking to manufacture through Taiwanese
producers, where an agreement with a mill will allow it to
establish some traction in the market.
"We always have to
think about wheres the best place to spend our money and
our time. We have not really started to do a big push in North
America. Weve been focusing a lot in Asia now because
they have less regulations than in the U.S. In the U.S. you
have to go through rings and rings of testing, and its a
lot of hassle," Peng said.
The company sought to
test its formula at U.S. mills but was turned down.
"I called just about
every (U.S.) steel mill and they all turned down sample runs
for us. ... We had an offer from a Chinese mill but we turned
them down because were afraid of the formula being stolen
by the Chinese, so were more comfortable in Taiwan. When
they sign a nondisclosure agreement, they actually mean in it,"
The company declined
to name the Taiwanese mill that it has contracted or the two
U.S. pipe makers to which it has sent samples.
Virina, originally called Green NanoSteel, renamed itself after
it was sued in February for trademark infringement by
Providence, R.I.-based NanoSteel Co., a designer of HSS that
has been developing its steel formula for 10 years
(amm.com, March 4). The companies settled the suit out
of court. In the short term, Virina said it will not be
competing with NanoSteel for market share.
The company, whose
chairman of the board and chief executive officer is Edward
Nixon, the youngest brother of former president Richard Nixon,
will file for U.S. patents by the end of the week and aims to
ship commercial loads of material in the United States before
the end of the summer, Wong said.