Quality checks necessary for roofing sheets and steel components, says Ex-Industrial Advisor, Ministry of Steel

Jamshedpur : How many Indian manufacturing players and end consumers are aware that the steel used in construction is required to meet the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Standards? While an exponential growth in the infrastructure sector is important in the development of the nation, it is equally important to have quality checks and compliance to Indian Coating Standards.

To discuss the sustainable development of the sector and bring in the relevance of meeting quality checks of steel components, International Zinc Association – a global industry association dedicated exclusively to the interests of zinc and its users – organized a webinar on ‘Understand BIS compliance & measurement techniques’. Industry leaders present in the webinar exerted the need to bring in adherence to quality to make India a self-reliant manufacturer of high-quality steel that is at par with global standards.

The webinar, chaired by Ex-Industrial Advisor, Ministry of Steel – Mr. ACR Das saw participation from distinguished members of the steel sector including Dr. Paswan Sharma - Principal Scientist, National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur; Dr. A.S. Khanna – Former Professor – IIT Bombay; Mr. Sachin Shetty – Partner – Quesrow consulting and Dr. Kenneth D’Souza, Technical Expert, IZA. The session highlighted the application of steel in new building material technologies, technical specifics of Steel coating that retailers and end-consumers should be mindful of while purchasing steel components and how galvanized and coated steel can help sustain the life of structures by preventing surface corrosion.

In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standards Body, engaged in developing and implementing National Standards knows as Indian Standards. Hence, all steel structures, including Roofing and Cladding sheets, are required to meet or exceed the zinc coating and paint coating thickness requirements as specified in the latest versions of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Standards IS 277, IS 14246 (galvanized) and IS 15965 (Galvalume/Zincalume). However, with India being a price sensitive market, the need to reiterate the relevance of Indian Coating Standards becomes even more important. Lack of this awareness leads to manufacturers and retailers taking undue advantage by offering cheap sub-standard coated and painted roofing sheets.

Mr. ACR Das - Ex-Industrial Advisor, Ministry of Steel said, “Rigorous adoption of standards is often looked upon as one of the yardsticks of industrialization and development of any country. India has a strong framework for quality control standards that have been introduced by both BIS and the government. This does not only provide impetus to domestic steel manufacturers to produce and market superior quality components but also empowers end-consumers to make informed decisions before buying iron and steel products. However, despite the existing framework, there are stray cases of supply and import of sub-standard coated products. This must be addressed by the Enforcement authority (BIS) and also the Regulator, i.e., Ministry of Steel, through time bound planning and action.”

A recent evaluation of roofing and cladding sheets supplied by the retailers across India by a Mumbai based consultancy in 2020, determined that the imported products did not meet the BIS Standards or the Government of India Quality Control Orders (QCO). It was also noted that some of the domestically produced profiled roofing and cladding sheets were also sub-standard.

Addressing the audience, Dr. Kenneth De’Souza, Technical expert, IZA said, “For the fastest growing country that is aiming to be a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024, India’s economic growth is intricately linked to the growth of the steel industry. Application of the right kind of construction technology along with high-quality ZINC coated steel usage will ensure a long life, safety, and security of the public.  We thereby want to create consumer awareness around coating sheet thickness to ensure better infrastructure in the country.”

The webinar was followed by a demonstration of steel coating, technical specifics of BIS Standards with respect to roof & surface coating and a rundown of ways in which architects and consumers can assess the quality of steel component during purchase.

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