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60 years of development of Iron making technology in China

From the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 to the early 1980s, China’s iron industry laid the foundation. Before liberation, the steel industry in old China was very backward. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, the annual output of steel in China was only 158,000 tons, and the annual output of pig iron was only 250,000 tons. After three years of production recovery, China’s output of steel, iron and materials set a new record in 1952. Before the mid-1950s, China’s iron making mainly learned from the former Soviet Union, during which time it expanded Anshan Iron and Steel, and built wuhan Iron and Steel, Baotou Iron and Steel. In the era of “Great Leap Forward”, Bensteel summarized the experience of high production of blast furnace and put forward the operation policy of “based on raw materials and based on wind, improving smelting intensity and reducing coke ratio simultaneously”, and China’s iron-making technology began to enter the process of exploration. During the period of national economic adjustment in the early 1960s, a large number of blast furnaces stopped production, and the blast furnaces in production maintained low smelting intensity operation. From 1963 to 1966, China independently developed blast furnace pulverized coal injection, heavy oil and vanadium titanium magnetite smelting technologies, and the technical and economic indicators reached the best level since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. During the Period of “Cultural Revolution”, China’s iron and steel industry suffered a heavy blow and appeared the situation of “10 years wandering”. After 30 years of tortuous development after liberation, China initially laid the foundation of iron and steel industry. In 1980, China’s pig iron output reached 38.02 million tons. Marked by the first phase of Baosteel project, which was put into operation in 1985, China began to learn advanced foreign technology from the 1980s. After the End of the “Cultural Revolution”, the Third Plenary Session of the eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China put things in order, focused on economic construction, implemented the policy of reform and opening up, introduced advanced international technology, and brought China’s steel industry into a new stage of development. Taking the construction of Baosteel as an opportunity, the iron making technology introduced by Baosteel was digested and transplanted and popularized, which played a great role in promoting the technological progress of China’s iron making system. From then on, Chinese ironmaking entered the stage of learning foreign advanced technology. From 1980s to 1990s, Chinese iron and steel enterprises carried out large-scale expansion and technological transformation, adopted advanced technology and equipment, and made great progress in improving the quality of raw fuel and the operation of blast furnaces, as well as the technological and economic indicators of blast furnaces. In 1994, China’s pig iron output reached 97.409 million tons, making China the world’s leading iron producer. Since 1996, China has been the world’s largest steel producer. In the 21st century, China’s iron-making technology has entered a stage of independent innovation. In the past ten years, China’s iron and steel industry has developed at a higher speed. In 2013, China produced 779 million tons of steel, accounting for 48.5% of the world’s steel output; Pig iron production was 708.97 million tons, accounting for 61.1% of the world’s total pig iron production. During this period, China’s iron-making technology entered the stage of independent innovation, marked by the jingtang 5500m³ blast furnace designed and constructed by China’s independent innovation. In recent years, China’s steel industry has suffered from overcapacity, resulting in difficulties in operation and a sharp decline in profitability. Under the multiple pressures of market, resources and environment, China’s iron and steel industry is facing severe challenges and tests of structural adjustment and compression of excess capacity. This paper briefly reviews the development of iron making technology in China in the past 60 years, and discusses the development trend of iron making technology in China in the future.

Post time: Mar-25-2022