POSCO is producing 700 mm slabs with “PosMC Machine” developed by the Korean steel giant in June this year. Slabs are semi-finished rectangular products used as a material for hot-rolled steel sheets or heavy plates. It is said that the thicker a slab is, the more difficult its production is. A 700 mm slab can be used for production of a heavy plate with thickness of up to 233 mm. European and Japanese steelmakers are currently able to produce slabs up to 600 mm thick.
"POSCO started development of PosMC Machine in 2008, and successfully developed it based on an in-house design," said Oh Kyung-sik, head of the POS MC Technology Development Team at POSCO. "Its development cost was only one fifth of our competitors’."
The world’s thickest slab is heavy. It weighs 1 ton per 1 centimeter. POSCO produces around 400 tons of 700 mm slabs every day. They are mainly used for ships, but considering that 1 ton of steel goes into one car, it means that the steelmaker produces steel for 400 cars a day.
POSCO is already recognized for its technological prowess by its corporate customers that want to use the best steel products in the world. It supplied steel products for Canakkale 1915 Grand Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, and has been working with Volvo, which is famous for making safe cars. Recently, POSCO surpassed one million tons in cumulative sales of heavy plates to the world's No. 1 offshore wind power structure maker.
POSCO has been named the world's most competitive steelmaker by WSD, which specializes in analyzing the steel industry, for nine consecutive years since 2010. POSCO expects full-scale commercial production of 700mm slabs to accelerate its march towards the world's best company in the steel industry.