Pune: International Zinc Association (IZA), in a joint initiative with IIT-Mumbai and Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL), a subsidiary of Vedanta, organized an interactive session to raise awareness of the benefits of galvanized steel in the Indian automotive industry.
“India loses approximately 5% of GDP every year due to corrosion losses vis-a-vis around 3.2% in The United States, so we have a significant potential to save the country from up to 5% of GDP loss by galvanizing. We shall extend full support to International Zinc Association in this fight against corrosion. Galvanizing is not only about Economy but it has a positive impact on the environment as well as safety of the passengers. We are a company which believes in sustainability of our stakeholders and we are future ready with our product ‘Continuous Galvanizing Grade of Zinc’ which is specifically used for Galvanized Steels and is presently being supplied to select Indian steel manufacturers,” said Mr. Vikas Sharma, COO (Smelters), Hindustan Zinc Ltd.
Galvanized steel primarily has two distinct benefits—first, it protects the steel from corrosive attack acting as a continuous and lasting shield between steel and the atmosphere. Secondly, it acts as a galvanic protector, sacrificing itself slowly in the presence of corrosive agents.
“India is set to become the 4th largest automotive manufacturer in the world. With the increase in demand of automotive vehicles, there will be a growing demand of steel, which forms nearly 70% of the whole car body weight. Hence, corrosion protection through Galvanization of steel will be an important factor to gauge the overall impact of the automotive vehicles in India. Galvanized steel is one of the simplest but most effective innovations that has revolutionized the global automotive industry by reducing the weight of car bodies, reducing emissions and increasing life of car”, said Prof. Khanna from IIT Mumbai, who has steered a study on corrosion in cars in Mumbai.
The Professor stated that Indian cars which usually use coated steels, give the look and feel of international cars but not all cars provide perforation warranties, which is the right of the customer. Apart from these, use of Galvanized Advanced High Strength Steels helps in the reduction of car body weight, emissions and improves safety performance along with fuel efficiency, which is in line with the requirement of the new age cars for Indian roads.
Indian car makers use galvanized steel for the body panels, but only for the export models. Galvanized steel has been used for decades across Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea for body panels. The wide use is mainly owing to the regulatory frameworks in the developed economies.
“All car models exported from India are galvanized as per the regulatory norms mandated by US/ Europe, but the same car models are not galvanized for Indian market, which is the 6th largest market in the world. This unfairness is quite alarming. The overall benefit to the automaker to convert the 400 kilogram car body-in-white from cold rolled steel to galvanneal is estimated to offset the material and processing cost. Galvanization also brings down the cost of maintenance passing down benefits to the end users. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is engaging with Industry experts on formalizing a set of standards in line with the International Standards for automobiles, which is a long drawn process. We see this as a positive step and expect tighter norms to be issued on the use of Galvanized steel soon. said Mr. Kenneth D’Souza, Consultant (Canada) International Zinc Association, adding that emissions of a vehicle are expected to reduce as it gets lighter and lighter.
The sixth largest car manufacturer in the world, India is a key market for the automotive sector. Steady economic growth and robust consumption trends make it one of the most attractive regions for auto companies to launch their products and align the designs with international models.
A study by IIT Bombay proved that of the 500 odd cars surveyed, four major corroded areas emerged: bonnet, boot, rocker and door panels.
The IZA has set up an International Galvanized Auto Body Partnership (GAP), in collaboration of the zinc, steel and automobile industries aligned in support of the market for advanced corrosion-resistant sheet steels in automobiles. The program aims to expand performance of galvanized advanced high strength steels through process improvements in automotive galvanizing lines and extending capabilities of zinc-based coatings.
Eighty percent of the GAP program funding comes from the steel industry, whose involvement in the design and direction of the program leads to direct transfer of results to the automotive industry. Many advanced vehicle designs are now making use of GAP program results. According to experts, the usage of high strength galvanized steel has several benefits including low maintenance, anti-perforation warranties or corrosion resistant material are quite common.
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