Steel News

First Generation EPS Production Line Brought Into Operation at TISCO

11/18/2013 - Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co., Ltd. (TISCO) completed processing of the first coil through its new Eco Pickled Surface (EPS) production line on 12 July 2013.
This event marked two important 'firsts' for EPS technology:
  1. The first use of EPS technology in China, the world's largest steel-producing market; 
  2. The first multi-cell EPS production line using EPS Generation 2 technology. The line employs three Generation 2.0 EPS Cells.
The EPS process is an environmentally-friendly replacement for acid pickling of hot rolled steel strip developed by The Material Works, Ltd. (TMW) of Red Bud, Ill., USA. This patented process removes the layer of oxide (mill scale) from the surface of hot rolled steel, imparting a very clean, uniform surface. Unlike acid pickling, the EPS process uses no hazardous substances to accomplish its 'pickling' — just ordinary water and fine steel grit — both of which are recirculated for continuous use. The process also leaves the steel inherently rust resistant, so it does not require the oil film that is applied to acid pickled steel to prevent rusting. See for further details.
The TISCO EPS production line, located in its steel processing center in Taiyuan China, employs three EPS Cells in series (see photo below). This line runs 3 times faster than is possible with a single EPS cell.  TISCO may, at a future date, make the modifications to upgrade these cells to the new Version 2.1 design which will significantly increase the line's maximum operating speed.  The line is 53 meters in length, whereas a typical push-pull acid pickling line of comparable capacity would be approximately 140 meters long. It is the first EPS production line to use more than one cell of the Version 2.0 EPS Cell design, the high capacity cell introduced by TMW in late 2010. Additional multi-cell Version 2.1 EPS production lines will begin operation in North America in 4Q 2013.
Pictured below: The 3 EPS Cells of the Production Line at TISCO
TISCO procured the EPS Cells from TMW and integrated them with coil handling, feeding and recoiling equipment made in China. TMW provided site foundation and service requirements, interface drawings, extensive startup support and training of TISCO personnel to make the first EPS line in China a success. Coils processed on the EPS line are packaged in an advanced, automated packaging system of TISCO's design.

The Material Works, Ltd. (TMW) is a privately-held company committed to excellence in the toll processing of flat rolled metals. Located near St. Louis, Mo., TMW performs slitting, blanking, cut-to-length, leveling and EPS processing for service centers and OEM manufacturers throughout the central and southern USA. The TMW Technology Division researches and develops new steel processing technologies that are used worldwide, including the EPS process replacement for acid pickling.
TISCO, established in 1934, operates integrated steelmaking facilities that produce 10 million tons per year, including 3 million tons of stainless steel, making it the world's largest producer of stainless. TISCO makes significant investments in research and development of advanced grades of stainless steel, silicon steel, high strength steels and carbon steels. It is also a leader in development of more sustainable steel making technologies that use less energy and have less impact on the environment. The decision to utilize EPS technology reflects TISCO's commitment to produce and process steel in the most environmentally responsible manner.