The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies have joined forces to undertake a pilot study into the current applications for stainless steel. In 2006, more than 28 million metric tons (mmt) of stainless steel were produced. The study aims to find out what it was used to make.
The project will provide a better understanding of the uses for stainless steel around the world. To achieve this ambitious target it was decided to conduct two feasibility studies in the Japanese and United States markets. A further study will be undertaken in China before the study is extended globally.
The knowledge about the end-uses of stainless steel, together with end-of-life analysis of goods that contain stainless steel, is essential for stocks and flows (STAF) analysis. The data gathered in the study will be used to develop both quantitative and qualitative information about volumes and different stainless steel products and grades in defined end-uses. ISSF also plans to use the data for cross fertilization of stainless steel market development between different regions of the world.
The project began in 2007 with the development of end-use definitions and questionnaires for stockholders, service centers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). End-uses have been grouped into five major categories: transportation, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, metal goods, and building and construction. The five major categories are further divided into 38 sub-categories.
The United States stainless steel market is, to a large extent, served via stockholders and service centers. The first round of questions, which was endorsed by the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI), was put to the stockholders and service centers as well as OEMs and stainless steel producers in summer 2007. As the results of the first round were incomplete Yale University will conduct a second round of research in early 2008.
All recipients of the questionnaire in metal stocking warehouses and service centers are asked to support this study by filling in the requested information as completely as possible. It is important to note that the confidentiality of company-related data will be protected by Yale University. ISSF is not interested in receiving company-specific data but just in aggregate data for the entire United States. All participating companies will receive feedback about the aggregate US market statistics.