A worker moves rolls of inox strips at a factory of Taiyuan Iron&Steel (Group) in Shanxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]
In the Shanxi factory of manufacturing giant Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group), strips of thin, flexible stainless steel are being rolled up in preparation for shipment.
TISCO is the first Chinese producer of inox, a steel alloy containing a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium, which is different from heavier and thicker steel products.
The inox strips are only 0.02 millimeters thick and 600 mm wide. Inox, also called "hand-tear steel", can be applied in a wide range of areas such as aviation, new energy and foldable screens.
Wang Tianxiang, general manager of Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Precision Strip, a subsidiary of Taiyuan group, said earlier this year that in the past only a few countries, such as Germany and Japan, could produce steel sheets as thin.
During a recent visit to TISCO, Lu Yaohua, executive vice-chairman of the China Federation of Industrial Economics, said that after 85 years of development, TISCO has grown into a global leader in the stainless-steel industry. Lu said the company was effectively driving the overall sustainable development of China's steel industry, which is the "result of independent innovation".
Liao Xi, head of quality control at TISCO's advanced steel strip branch, said the strips were first put into use last year.
"Before they were created, our team had undertaken more than 700 experiments with numerous failures," Liao said.
"Now our products are only 0.02-millimeter thick, but the international standard is set between 0.05 and 0.5 millimeters. Our technologies are leading the world."
The steel strips are sold in grams, which is in stark contrast to other steel products that are usually sold by the metric ton. An inox strip the same size as an A4 sheet of paper can sell for up to 400 yuan ($58).