By Nick Gilbert
Outokumpu has unveiled duplex stainless steel in the Chinese domestic water heater market, marking the development of the first duplex water heater tank in partnership with a local company, Phinx.
The development of the water storage tank prototype from Outokumpu’s thin duplex stainless steel sheet of grade 2304 for use in domestic water heaters marks the realization of the company’s long business development initiatives in China.
It is imperative to fabricate water heaters from stainless steel to optimize their service life despite less adoption of these types of heaters in the worldwide domestic water heater market. In the fabrication of water heaters, duplex stainless steel ensures substantial savings in material, while its superior corrosion resistance provides the longest service life for all kinds of domestic water heater tanks.
China is witnessing strong growth in the construction market, which in turn spurs the requirement for domestic appliances like water heaters. Globally, water heaters equipped with storage tanks have been the renowned technique to deliver hot water. The market potential for stainless steel will grow significantly in China if all storage tanks are made from the material.
Dr. Chang-Ching Sun from Outokumpu’s Chinese sales office commented that with the help of a domestic Chinese fabricator and the company’s research and development expertise and its various own units, the company has produced a full-size prototype tank designed as per the specifications of the potential buyer, sowing the seed for duplex stainless steel-made domestic water heater tanks in the country. However, more work needs to be done prior to large-scale commercial sales.