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Posco set to mass produce world's first graphite free cutting steel

PosGRAM (Posco)
PosGRAM (Posco)

Posco, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, said Thursday it succeeded in developing the world’s first free cutting steel using graphite, and is set for mass production of the eco-friendly steel named PosGRAM.

With its new development, Posco said it will be able to raise the country’s industrial competitiveness, as PosGRAM would replace lead free cutting steel, of which its entire supply has been imported.

Free cutting steel refers to the steel that is high in strength, easy to cut, and is in the form of long steel wire rods, round, thin, and long in form, the company explained. It is often used for car parts and other machine parts that needs precise cutting.

While lead is often added to reduce friction and raise machinability, dust particles of lead produced while processing has been pointed as detrimental to health, causing brain damage or forms of inflammation to workers.

For that, Posco said its PosGRAM would be able to replace the lead-based ones that are harmful to human body. It also explained that its graphite product has been realized to match the level of machinability of lead-based products.

The company started development in 2017, completed the product last year, and kicked off sales in June to enter the global free cutting steel market trading 1 million tons annually, Posco said.

By Jo He-rim (