Saturday, March 5, 2016

India - Automotive Industry - Anti-corrosion steel standards to be set for Indian cars. Our Viewpoint: The buyers have no clue for the cost of painting or any anti-corrosion treatment packaged with the purchase price of car.

Our Viewpoint: It is necessary to protect the cars from corrosion. Otherwise, it will be a big menace to the integrity of automobiles and safety of passengers. The buyers have no clue for the cost of painting or any anti-corrosion treatment packaged with the purchase price of the car. Although the manufacturers say anti-perforation/corrosion warranty is there for 10 years or the lifetime, they demand the cost of inspection and touchups from the consumers. In the case of any rusting issue arises, the consumers are forced to pay the post-failure cost without knowing the original cost of treatment. If any of the inspection is missed, the dealer may say that the anti-rust warranty will become void. Corrosion process is completely influenced by the changes in environment viz. composition, pollutants and climatic conditions. The rate of corrosion varies from place to place. But the warranty seems to be universal throughout all geographies. There is a great need to classify these areas and provide severity based anti-corrosion warranty. Cars plying in the coastal areas may corrode faster than the non-coastal zone. It is not environment alone but also the quality of washing and maintenance practices. Another mind boggling question for the consumers who buy used cars is whether the anti-rust warranty is transferrable. We come across many types of paint systems and rust prevention technologies available in the market. Consumers expect institutions like IIT delivering independent recommendations on the various options available for anti-corrosion practices and life cycle costing to choose the geography-friendly cost-effective corrosion control answers.  
Chennai: Indian roads will soon have cars with perforation warranties once the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) standardizes the specifications of the steel used in automotive industry, said officials of the International Zinc Association (IZA) on Wednesday.

“Only around 20% of the cars manufactured in India are using galvanized steel and that is exported to the other markets,” said Kenneth De Souza, consultant, IZA (Global). Using cars that have a perforation warranty is the right of the customer added A.S. Khanna, professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

The IZA in a joint venture with IIT Bombay and Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL), a subsidiary of Vedanta Ltd, has approached the BIS for standardizing the use of galvanized steel in vehicles.

“IZA is working with BIS to create a standard that brings India to the level of global players in terms of using galvanized steel for automobiles. We have submitted a draft to the bureau with specifications and BIS is reviewing it. In the process, all the car companies have to mandatorily use the approved material in their cars,” said De Souza.

“We are anticipating that, this year the specifications will go into the public review before it becomes a standardized phenomenon in India,” he added

Galvanizing is a controlled coating of zinc on steel in order to protect it from corrosion. The zinc sacrifices itself slowly but steadily to protect the strength and safety of steel in the automobile body. The process apart from improving the safety of the car, leads to weight reduction which in turn reduces emission.

A survey conducted by IIT Bombay last year revealed that almost 60% of cars suffer from corrosion effects like rust, blisters and perforation. It also found that galvanized cars show significantly improved performance by 60%-70% as compared to non-galvanized cars of the same model.

Global car makers offer an anti perforation warranty for up to 12 years. Though India has started using galvanized or galvanneal steel for body panels of cars, they are implemented only in export models and the domestic cars are non- galvanized.

“India loses around 5% of GDP each year in corrosion losses. Corrosion mitigation will lead to sustainable vehicles and infrastructure for future generations,” said Vikas Sharma, chief operating officer (Smelters), Hindustan Zinc Ltd.

“The incremental cost when the Indian auto makers opt for galvanizing steel would come around Rs.8000 for a vehicle, which is only 0.02% of the total amount,” said Rahul Sharma, International Zinc Association (India).

Galvanized steel has been used for decades in Europe, North America, Japan and Korea for body panels. In India, for the export models 70% of the body is galvanized while the one for the domestic market will have only 20% galvanization of the body parts.

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Publication Date: 03 March 2016

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