Kobe Steel to Cease Production of Chromate-Treated Electro-Galvanized Steels

Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it plans to stop production of chromate-treated electrogalvanized (EG) steel sheet by March 2005. It will be the first Japanese steelmaker to take this step.

Chromate treatment has been widely used for over 50 years in EG steel sheet because it increases the sheet's resistance to corrosion and improves paintability. However, as attention on the environment grows worldwide, industries have been undertaking measures to decrease the environmental burden. A major issue has been to make coated EG sheet chromate free.

In 1998, Kobe Steel became the first Japanese steelmaker to commercialize chromate-free EG steel sheet, which has higher properties than conventional chromate-treated sheet. Called Zinkobella Greencote GX, the sheet has a chromate-free special film over the electrogalvanized zinc layer. Kobe Steel has been actively promoting the switch to chromate-free sheet products. Currently, 80 percent of its coated EG sheet production contains no chromate layer.

When chromate-treated EG sheet production ends, the treatment equipment at the EG production line will be dismantled and removed. As chromate-treatment solution will no longer be used, this will also lessen the burden on the environment.

With home appliances and office equipment increasing in performance, manufacturers need higher performance from electrogalvanized sheet. To meet their requirements, Kobe Steel has developed other EG sheets with special chemical treatments. Not only corrosion resistant, these high-performance products are noted for their high fingerprint resistance, lubricative property, and heat-releasing characteristics.

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