China, the biggest ballpoint pen manufacturing country, will no longer depend on imports of stainless steel to produce the writing instrument.
A new type of stainless steel made especially for ballpoint pens has been invented and successfully applied to pen production following a five-year effort, Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group (TISCO) announced in Shanxi on Jan 10.
Ballpoint pen points made of a new type of stainless steel from Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group are exhibited in the exhibition room of the company. [Photo/news.cn]
The TISCO self-developed material is crack-proof and easy to cut. The ballpoint pens which utilize the stainless steel in the points of the pens, are equal in quality to those made from imported raw materials and have been thoroughly tested by Beifa Group, one of the biggest pen producers in China.
China has been relying on foreign raw materials for making ballpoint pen points and requires stainless steel with high-performance and high-precision processing, but China lacks the key technical skills and materials. It’s estimated that more than 1,000 tons of special raw materials costing 120,000 yuan ($17,324) per ton are imported each year to manufacture ballpoint pens.
The innovation will revolutionize the domestic ballpoint pen industry, break the monopoly of foreign countries in producing ballpoint pens and boost creativity in the industry.
Already, some domestic pen manufacturers have bought the new stainless steel in bulk from Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group. The steel products of the company are expected to replace imported steel for ballpoint pens over the coming two years.
Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group, founded in 1934, is a leading stainless steel producer in China with an annual capacity of around 12 million tons of steel. Faced with overcapacity in the steel industry in recent years, the group has been committed to R&D of quality and novel steel products in order to help upgrade the industry.
Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group displays the finished steel wires which are used to make the points of ballpoint pens. [Photo/news.cn]