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[Reprint] Skeleton Material: Found the National Style "Bone" of Rubber Industry

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China's skeleton material industry has experienced more than 60 years of development. Starting from nearly zero, the pace of product restructuring and upgrading has been accelerating. It has adapted to the development of China's rubber industry, especially the tire industry, and now it has become one of the world's largest producers of skeleton materials. The development of radial tires and high-strength conveyor belts has promoted the rise of new skeleton materials such as steel cord, steel rope, polyester cord canvas and polyester cord and private skeleton materials enterprises. China's rubber skeleton material industry is gathering courage and wisdom, casting the national style of China's rubber industry'skeleton'.


Synchronized Growth with New China


The development of rubber skeleton materials in China is almost synchronized with that in New China. In 1949, China produced 26,000 tires and required about 200 tons of cotton cord cloth.


With the development of national economy, especially the sustained, stable, healthy and rapid development of rubber industry after the reform and opening-up, rubber skeleton materials in China have undergone a transition from cotton (cord canvas) to chemical fibers (nylon, polyester cord canvas and integral belt core). Steel skeleton materials such as steel cord, bead wire and wire rope have been developed, and high performance fibers such as aramid fibers have been gradually developed. Skeleton material. Always adhere to scientific and technological innovation, committed to product restructuring, and constantly achieve product upgrading and upgrading of the rubber skeleton material industry, which strongly supports the development of tire, hose belt and other related industries, and has achieved fruitful results. At present, a complete industrial system of rubber skeleton materials has been formed with complete product varieties, excellent quality and complete process equipment. China has also become a big country in the production and consumption of rubber skeleton materials.


Upgrading of product structure

In the 20th century, the main rubber skeleton materials in China developed from cotton fiber and strong rayon to nylon fiber-dominated product structure. In 2000, the nylon output reached 200,000 tons. In the 21st century, with the domestic demand for raw materials of radial tire technology introduced into China, steel cord and polyester cord made of rubber skeleton materials have developed rapidly, and led to the growth of a number of enterprises.


In 2005, with the development of truck radial tire in China, the output of steel cord reached 460,000 tons, exceeding the output of nylon cord for the first time, and became the largest skeleton material in China. The development of new structure steel cord also became the main content of technical innovation of steel cord material. Because of its small deformation, high modulus and low shrinkage, polyester material is especially suitable for passenger car radial tires. Polyester cord fabric has been developed from less than 10,000 tons in 2001 to 230,000 tons in 2014, which has increased by more than 20 times. Especially, it is more suitable for high modulus and low shrinkage (HMLS) varieties of radial tires. It has become an important development direction of polyester skeleton materials. Since 2001, nylon cord fabric products have basically not increased, but related enterprises have made important progress in modification technology and other areas of application, improving product quality and expanding exports, and the production enterprises are still developing steadily.


At present, in the global scope, rubber skeleton materials are still mainly steel wire, polyester, nylon (including nylon 6 and 66) and strong rayon. The output and consumption of steel wire are the first, and the growth rate of polyester skeleton materials is the fastest. The total annual output of steel cord for tyre industry is 2 million to 2.4 million tons, and the annual consumption of fiber cord exceeds 1.1 million tons, of which polyester cord is 40%, nylon cord is 55%, and strong rayon cord is 5%.


In addition to the discontinuation of production of strong rayon, the structure of framework materials used in rubber industry in China is similar to that in the world. According to the statistics of member units of China Rubber Industry Association Framework Material Committee, the output of steel cord in 2014 was 1.097 million tons, bead wire 496,000 tons, nylon cord 257,000 tons and polyester cord 240,000 tons.


Set off a Green Wave of Industry


Developing clean technology, realizing energy saving and emission reduction, and developing low-carbon economy are important strategies for sustainable development of the industry. In recent years, China's steel wire skeleton material manufacturing enterprises have developed and promoted green environmental protection technology, set off a trend of green development, and achieved a series of important results.


First, we should develop green energy, reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by using wind power generation and solar power generation technologies, and devote ourselves to building green factories. Secondly, high-efficiency switching power supply is used to replace the ordinary silicon rectifier DC power supply, saving 30% of the energy and achieving high-efficiency and energy-saving. Thirdly, the lead bath technology of heat treatment process has been phased out and the environment has been improved. Fourthly, cyanide plating process has been completely eliminated, and non-cyanide plating and thermal diffusion process have been adopted. Fifth, through fine management, adjusting drawing process, shortening process and improving production efficiency. At the same time, the cooling water and heat energy are fully recycled, which not only improves the environment, but also achieves remarkable economic benefits of energy saving and consumption reduction.


Continuous pursuit of scientific and technological progress


Scientific and technological innovation is an inexhaustible motive force for enterprise development. With the support of the National Development and Reform Commission, Shenma Group and Jiangsu Xingda Steel Cord Company, the two giants of skeleton materials, fibers and steel wires, have established state-recognized technology centers and undertook innovative capacity-building projects, which have set up a platform for scientific and technological progress in the industry. Large and medium-sized enterprises have also set up provincial and enterprise's own technology centers, which play an important role in the scientific and technological progress of enterprises and the training of professional talents.


In 2004, Jiangsu Xingda Steel Cord Company won the second prize of national scientific and technological progress for the development of production technology of new structure steel cord for radial tire. In 2005, Shandong Hailong Bolaite Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd.'6000 tons/year polyester cord canvas and industrial filament technology'won the first prize of scientific and technological progress of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation, Shandong Daye Co., Ltd.'Ultra-high strength bead steel wire industrialization technology for 10,000 tons radial tire' and liquid phase tackifying melt direct spinning industrial filament technology of Zhejiang Guxiao New Materials Co., Ltd. "Development and Application" won the second prize of Science and Technology Progress of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation and China Textile Industry Association, respectively. Domestic skeleton materials enterprises have obtained more than 50 national patented technologies and continuously cultivated independent intellectual property rights.


Welcome a more globalized tomorrow

With the development of China's automobile industry, tire industry and rubber products industry, the skeleton materials corresponding to the scale of development will inevitably be greatly developed. In the future, construction machinery tires will grow rapidly, agricultural tire demand will increase steadily, bias truck tires and bias light truck tires may show negative growth trend, and radial tires will continue to grow faster. Therefore, it is expected that steel cord will dominate the rubber skeleton material in the next few years, polyester cord will maintain a high level of growth, and nylon skeleton material will remain relatively stable.


During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the industry must adhere to six principles: market orientation, highlighting key points, technological progress, coordinated development, energy conservation and environmental protection, sustainable development and brand strategy. Starting from the market, we should give full play to the basic role of market mechanism in allocating resources. Taking product structure, technological structure and enterprise organizational structure adjustment as the breakthrough point, focusing on new product development, focusing on product quality improvement, technological progress, cost reduction, pollution prevention and control, intensifying technological transformation, improving the level of technology and equipment, and striving to form famous brand products with independent intellectual property rights and key technologies. Give full play to the overall advantages of industry and optimize the distribution of industrial productivity and regional economic structure. We will continue to eliminate backward equipment, technology and technology, reduce the excess and backward production capacity of some industries, support the technological transformation of large and medium-sized enterprises and the joint and merger of enterprises, improve the degree of enterprise intensification and economic efficiency of enterprises, achieve economies of scale, further improve the matching of raw materials and production equipment, and enhance the ability of key enterprises to participate in international competition. The total amount of construction scale should be controlled in order to meet the needs of domestic and foreign markets and promote the optimization and upgrading of industrial structure.


In addition, it is necessary to promote the strategy of industrial globalization. In order to actively guide enterprises to utilize foreign capital, we should lose no time to establish various forms of strategic alliances with large foreign companies, jointly develop high-tech products and obtain complementary resources. At the same time, we should actively introduce advanced technology and management experience through overseas listing, issuing bonds and introducing foreign investors, making full use of partners'funds, technology, management and marketing capabilities. It is reasonable to believe that with the joint efforts of people of insight in the industry, the future of rubber skeleton materials in China will be better.


High Performance Materials for the Future


At present, the rubber skeleton materials are mainly steel wire, polyester, nylon (including nylon 6 and 66) and strong rayon all over the world. However, a storm of research and development and promotion of high-performance materials aiming at energy saving, environmental protection, intelligence and high efficiency is coming, and it is possible to promote and even lead the rubber processing industry such as tires to achieve green manufacturing.


Aramid skeleton material


Because of its special properties, especially its high strength, high modulus and low density, aramid has become the representative of a new generation of high performance fiber materials for tire skeleton materials.


Para-aramid fibers (aramid 1414 fibers) are mainly used in rubber industry. They are all called poly (terephthaloyl terephthalamide) fibers. Although aramid fiber materials were developed in the 1970s, great progress has been made in the 21st century. During the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, the key national science and technology support project, the application of aramid material in tire industry, was implemented in South China tires, which fully embodies the advantages and lightweight role of aramid material in radial tires. Only using aramid cord instead of steel cord in the belt layer of car tire can reduce rolling resistance by 12.8% and save fuel by 3%. The durability and high speed performance of tire are improved significantly. At present, the application technology of aramid material in tire has been basically mature.


At present, the main counterpart aramid fibers in China are Shandong Yantai Spandex Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd., Pingmei Shenma Group Co., Ltd., Chengguang Chemical Research Institute, Suzhou Zhaoda Te Fiber Technology Co., Ltd., and Guangdong Xinhui Caiyan Co., Ltd. with an annual capacity of about 10,000 tons. The cleaner production process for the synthesis of Terephthalyl chloride from aramid raw material has been launched in Huaian, Jiangsu Province.


PEN fiber


The chemical name of PEN fiber is polyethylene naphthalate fiber, which belongs to polyester products and is one of the ideal skeleton materials for high performance radial tires. The application of PEN fiber as the framework material of radial tire can improve the handling and service life of tire, reduce road noise, lighten tire weight and reduce rolling resistance.


At present, Junma Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd. organizes scientific and technological forces to carry out research work on the development, processing and application of PEN fibers, and cooperates with Donghua University to tackle key problems jointly, which is expected to achieve industrialization results.


BPO Short Fiber/Rubber Composites


The chemical name of BPO is poly (p-phenylene benzobisoxazole). BPO staple fiber is a kind of super high strength fiber with high initial modulus. It has excellent properties such as heat resistance, flame retardant, impact resistance, bending fatigue resistance and chemical stability. It has been applied in the fields of aviation, aerospace and reinforced materials with special requirements such as heat resistance and impact resistance. Its application in rubber industry has attracted wide attention, such as improving wear resistance and stabbing resistance in tire tread compound, improving transverse rigidity and longitudinal flexibility in V-belt, reducing deformation in sealing products, etc. However, due to the high cost of BPO staple fibers, a small amount of BPO staple fibers can be used to prepare rubber composites to meet the requirements of high-performance rubber products.

UHMWPE Fiber Material


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers are called "three high performance fibers" together with carbon fibers and aramid fibers. UHMWPE fibers have high strength, high modulus and low price, which are suitable for the requirement of radial tire skeleton materials. It has attracted great attention from the industry. However, the main technical difficulties in the application of UHMWPE fibers in tire industry are poor adhesion to rubber and low melting point. It is very important to solve these two technologies. At present, some enterprises have gradually made the application of UHMWPE fibers in rubber industry possible by discussing various technologies such as plasma treatment of fiber surface and low temperature vulcanization process.


Modification Technology of Polyester Industrial Yarn


The composite modification of polyester industrial yarn with nano-materials can greatly improve the properties of ordinary PTE industrial yarn and prepare high performance rubber products. Nanocomposites are mainly the composite products of nano-SiO_2 and nano-rare earth CeO_2 pretreated by surface. By using the size effect of nano-particles and the functional effect of surface activity, a strong interfacial force is formed between nano-particles and PET, which changes the crystallinity, crystallization speed and melting crystallization temperature of PET and brings about a series of performance changes. The technology has been applied to HMLS industrial yarn, and its breaking strength, elongation at constant load, dry-heat shrinkage, especially elongation at break and flame retardancy have been greatly improved.


Century story


The Rise of Small Towns in Northern Jiangsu Province'Steel Cord City'


In Dainan Town, Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, there is a quietly flowing Maoshan River. Through the town, Maoshan River nourishes one side of the soil and water, and also a tire skeleton material manufacturer, Jiangsu Xingda Steel Cord Co., Ltd., which competes with the world giants. From a small town factory with only 10 workers and hundreds of thousands of yuan, to breaking the monopoly of foreign giants on the Chinese market, to a modern private enterprise with thousands of employees and tens of billions of yuan of assets, the world's largest steel cord city was built. It took only 20 years for Xingda to build.


Xingda founded a thermal power plant in 1986 and achieved little. However, Liu Jinlan, director of the plant, was not satisfied with Xiaofu. After many market investigations and investigations, he aimed at the'backbone'- steel cord of meridian tire.


Steel cord products have high technical content and strict quality requirements. They are known as the "crown" of metal products, and have great risks in this field. However, Liu Jinlan has his own reason: the nationwide road construction will greatly increase the popularity of vehicle radial tires, and the market demand for radial tire steel cord will surely increase dramatically. Steel cord is a national key project in the eighth five-year plan. It has great market potential. If we do not carry out this project, we will lose opportunities for development. '


However, in 1993, the steel cord was put into production after a lot of hardships. Due to the backward production process and weak technical force, the products have serious problems such as low adhesion and broken wire. More than 30 tons of waste made Xingda lose more than 600,000 yuan, which was an astronomical figure at that time. Liu Jinlan has been under tremendous pressure because of his huge loss. A local leader once ordered Xingda's steel cord project to be dismounted:'No more horse, you will become a criminal of history!'Liu Jinlan straightened up his waist and answered:'At this time dismounting is the criminal of history!' His heart crossed, and led the whole factory workers into a new technical tackle. After many sleepless nights, he finally developed tensioner and steel wire pre-transformer by himself, which fundamentally overcome the technical difficulties. In 1999, for the first time, Xingda Steel's cord products turned into profits.


In order to improve the qualified rate of products, Xingda has invested heavily in importing advanced technology and equipment from GCR Company in Italy and Rhine Company in Germany, doubling the added value of products and increasing the qualified rate of products by 5 percentage points. However, Liu Jinlan believes that foreign technology can only be transplanted, not cloned, and innovation is the basis for the growth and sustainable development of enterprises. After digestion and absorption, Xingda has independently developed a number of patented technologies. Its production technology of high performance new structural steel cord for radial tire has won the second prize of national scientific and technological progress in 2004.


Innovation is inseparable from talent. Over the past 20 years, Xingda has accumulated 10 billion yuan of assets, but in the eyes of Liu Jinlan, high-quality talent team is more valuable than huge assets. The steel cord is twisted from a single steel wire. In the past, a steel wire was broken and the twister was still running at a high speed, resulting in a decrease in the yield of finished products. A worker named Jiang Hua in the Sixth Branch Plant puzzled the problem and developed a wire breaking protection technology quickly, which increased the qualified rate of steel cord products by 1 to 2 percentage points. Liu Jinlan named this technology "Jianghua wire breakage protection law".

Today, Xingda has ranked among the top three in the international industry and become the only steel cord manufacturer in China to keep pace with foreign steel cord manufacturers. However, innovation has always been regarded as the source of development. The annual expenditure on R&D exceeds 3% of sales revenue. A number of major innovative achievements have been commended by the state, provinces, municipalities and industries.


Since Xingda's rise, countless people have asked where the secret is. Chairman Liu Jinlan said, "On the surface, the competition between enterprises is the competition of quality, essentially the competition of enterprise management level, and on the deep level, the competition of enterprise culture. Xingda's corporate culture of "Li De, Li Gong" has made enterprises rise rapidly. '


Xu Yun, an old worker, told a story like this:'In 2002, Xingda expanded its scale and seized the market. In only nine months, Xingda Six Factory with an annual output of 40,000 tons was built, and its capacity doubled. However, 95% of the new workers in No. 6 plant were new workers, and technical sparseness once affected the yield of steel cord. When the old factory staff learned about it, they took the initiative to help the new workers master the technology by taking advantage of their off-duty time. In only half a year, the yield of Xingda No. 6 plant has increased rapidly. 'The employee guards said,'I am a new employee who has been trained by an old employee. Now, as an old worker, I still have to keep the tradition of Xingda workers'handing-on. '


Liu Jinlan recalled this passage with deep emotion:'Xingda, whether a worker or a leading cadre, acts as different masters in different positions, just like the rope twisted by the cord, is strong, resistant to risks, and condenses into a strong collective daring to go abroad and strive for the first-class. '(collated by the editorial department of our newspaper)