MI Column 3

History of Japan's Steel Manufacturing

On pages 16-44 of "What Ryotaro Shiba Thought: 14 Essays 1987.5 to 1990.10" (Shincho Bunko), written by Ryotaro Shiba, there is a London Lecture Record by Ryotaro Shiba ("Japanese History from a Literature Perspective", June 1987). The history and social significance of steelmaking are described in this report. It is said that iron manufacturing technology came to Japan from the Korean Peninsula to the Izumo region around the fifth century AD. Many iron products such as hoes and plows for agricultural use were produced, rice cultivation rapidly spread, nourishing a large population, and the commodity economy flourished. From the society called the Jomon period, the Yayoi period, a society of rice cultivation power, began. Exports of "steel (Hagane)" to China began to flourish. Many books of Chinese classics came from China, and the reading of Japanese-style kanbun (Chinese classics) was invented and literature prospered.

In addition, in the UK, which was the center of the industrial revolution, together with the cutting-edge technology of the steam engine, steelmaking is a foundation of industry. In particular, the invention of coke reduced the consumption of wood for steelmaking fuel, mitigating the loss of forests in the UK, and reducing air pollution.

By the way, the author had an opportunity to visit the Wako Museum (attached to the Yasugi Plant of Hitachi Metals, Ltd.) in Yasugi City, Tottori Prefecture twice, and confirmed the history of Japan's steelmaking, including mythology. The star at that time was Susano no Mikoto (the younger brother of Amaterasu Omikami, Takehaya Susao no mikoto). It is famous for Yamata's defeat of the Orochi, but it is theorized that this ' Yamata no Orochi (the giant snake of Yamata) ' is a symbolic metaphor of the violence of a steelmaking (Tatara furnace) clan. After destroying the mountains and forests on the Korean Peninsula, which has less natural resilience, the group of iron-makers crossed the sea toward the Izumo region, where iron sand can be found, and seemed to have destroyed the forests for iron making, and probably also used iron weapons to oppress local residents, whereby the local residents asked for help from the Yamato Imperial Court. There, the brave Susano no Mikoto, who is said to have had traveled to the Korean Peninsula and lived in his mother’s hometown of Mt. Torikami (Mt. Funadori) in Izumo, was dispatched to eradicate this Yamata no Orochi (he defeated the head with his wisdom, subjugated the iron-making group, andat that time, obtained the sword of Kusanagi, one of the three sacred treasures), and developed the Izumo iron sand iron-making industry. As described in Nihon Shoki, is it too much to imagine that Susao no Mikoto, who might have touched on Chinese civilization in his experience of studying on the continent (the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla), may have recognized the importance of iron-making and may have livened up the Yamato administration with the iron-making industry? I believe that there was a strong aspiration for steelmaking technology in the determination to destroy the Yamata-Orochi.

Incidentally, Susanoo-no-Mikoto was highly intelligent and sang the first Japanese poem (Clouds (Yakumo), actively upwelling covered the eightfold fence. It makes the eightfold fence to have my new wife stay in the house. Great eightfold fence). This poem is full of love and anxiety, in which he protects Kushinadahime, who was about to be sacrificed to the Yamata no Orochi, and made her wife, and devoted himself to her pregnancy and child birth.

On the other hand, this Susao-no-mikoto is currently enshrined everywhere in the shrines near the author as the god of epidemic protection. And no one can explain this origin, why? I am very interested in this. The general image of Susa-yomi is a separate impression, but it seems to be understandable in consideration of the deep interest in people and life reflected in this poetry (Waka), or the possibility he had knowledge of Chinese medical care learned during his time studying on the continent or from the steel making clan. Regarding this issue, I would like to recall the ' Ishinomaki ; Jishi ' of the ' Honzoku Tsunami ' (written by Tokichi Lee in the Myoe Dynasty, 1593), and focus on the possibility of the anti-epidemic efficacy of iron magnetism.

Regarding steel production, there are a number of materials presumed to have started in China, but there are also interesting descriptions in "Hoshin-Engi (Investiture of the Gods)". In the 100th edition of Hoshin Engi; Wu Wang Enfeoffs Various Sates, (translated by Tsutomu Ano, published by Kodansha Bunko is a scene in which Lu Shang who was enfeoffed the state of Qi (Shandong province) by Wu Wang, orders Bu Kichi to work saying ' The era of bronze weapons has passed. If you make steel in Qi, you can sell as much as you want. Make salt as well. So enrich Qi and enrich the people. ' In addition, ' Qi developed into a strong country, and in 300 years, ' Shunju Sengoku Period ' (Period of Warring States in the Spring and Autumn) arrived, and the first dynast was ' Duke Huan of Qi, ' the fifteenth generation of descendent of Lu Shang, and it was Guan Zhong the prime minister who supported him. Guan Zhong was a disciple of Lu Shang in the history of philosophical thought. ' Tsutomu Ano’s work “Shunju Sengoku Period” , stated that Guan Zhong gained great wealth in the business of selling agricultural ironware with his friend Bao Shuya when he was young, and that in Qi, steelmaking and salt making consistently developed as the foundation of national power.

Together with the "Saiyuki-ki", the "Hoshin-Engi" has long been popular reading based on historical reality in China, although its value as a record document is unknown, but it seems useful as a reference material. It is a historical based story that the Shang Dynasty declined at the beginning of the 11th century B.C. when Zhou (Xin) was the 31st King Shang, and one of the four major lords, King Xi Zhou of Xi Zhou, obtained Tai Komochi as a military master, and his son, King Bu, won the final battle of Muye with the strategy of Tai Komochi, and moved from Yin to the period of Xi Zhou.

In addition, one of the reasons for the birth of the first emperor's Qin dynasty is that steel weapons overwhelmed bronze weapons from other countries (Ryotaro SHIBA, 3 volumes of ' Bunba and Liu Kuni from Shincho Bunko ). From a comprehensive point of view, steel manufacturing will continue to be a fundamental technology for society in modern industrial and economic societies.

It seems that it took a lot of time to bring steel manufacturing technology to Japan, but since it was introduced, it has grown to become the world's No. 1 steel, as symbolized by the Japanese sword, due to the development of technology unique to Japan., Electrical steel sheets (grain-oriented silicon steel sheets) and amorphous magnetic materials, which are magnetic materials based on steel, made in Japan are of high-quality and high-performance. While steel products such as Aichi Steel's specialty steels for automobiles are typical, electrical steel sheets, which I have been involved in the research of, are another typical steel product in the age of electric power energy. I was studying in the United Kingdom (1978), and I heard that the Japanese Electromagnetic Steel Sheet HI-B (inventor Taguchi of Nippon Steel) was often purchased in the United Kingdom. HI-B has a special treatment called tension coating to refine the magnetic wall and reduce the eddy current loss (unloaded iron loss), so that the price of a cylindrical transformer will be increased by a factor of two, and the power loss of the power system will be reduced. In the United Kingdom, HI-B was purchased based on System evaluation (Loss evaluation), and in Japan, we did not purchase it because the price of the transformer alone was high. There was a difference in the evaluation method. This difference is still going on in 2017. Which evaluation method is better now that we are seeking for the sustainable development of society? Non-consolidated price evaluation and non-consolidated hardware quality improvement seem to be connected somewhere (higher quality (hardware) is more expensive than function (software)).

Amorphous electrical steel sheets were a source of trade friction between Japan and the United States. The Japanese government was obliged to purchase 30000 U.S. amorphous columnar transformers, but they did not appear to have been effectively utilized. Despite the low quality of the hardness of the amorphous ribbon, it was not devised to overcome the principle drawbacks of the function of the amorphous ribbon. First, there is a problem of high magnetostriction of the iron-based amorphous ribbon. Magnetostrictive noise is generated due to high magnetostriction. Since it is generated by magnetization rotation of the amorphous ribbon, it becomes more difficult to take countermeasures than the crystalline magnetic material. The 60 Hz transformer consists of a low-frequency 120Hz noise, resulting in environmental noise. Even in the case of a columnar transformer, noise becomes serious and cannot be used, especially in densely populated urban areas in Japan. Zero-magnetostrictive amorphous ribbons, which do not generate noise, have low saturation magnetization, resulting in a large transformer, which becomes impractical. Transformers in suburban areas are also noisy, resulting in higher costs for secondary treatment, such as covering with concrete, and eliminating the advantage of low-iron-loss amorphous ribbons. Transformer technology in densely populated urban areas is a field of trial for environmentally conscious technologies.

Here we shift from the history of steelmaking to the discussion of amorphous wire (metal fiber), which was transferred from Unitika Corporation to Aichi Steel Corporation two years ago (2015).

Japanese-made amorphous wires are made by an underwater rapid-quench spinning method that exceeds the commonly used ultra-rapid cooling method. The first amorphous wire was made by R.C. O'Handley in the United States in 1975, but it was created by forming a V-shaped groove on the face of a rotating steel drum. For this reason, it seems to have been a thin, twisted amorphous magnetic material about 40cm long, which is not uniform in cross-section and thickness. However, the magnetic domain propagation phenomenon in the length direction in this wire was measured and attracted attention.

In Japan, a new idea for the "Ultra-Rapid Quench Method" was presented by Professor Mitsuo Ohnaka of Osaka University. In 1981, a large number of researchers from UNITIKA Co’s Hagiwara area. made improvements in the laboratory of Professor Ken Masumoto of Tohoku University, and high-quality amorphous wires of uniform and long length (km) were created. Amorphous wires, which are made by drawing zero magnetostrictive wires in the amorphous wires at high degree and thermally treating them, are used as magnetic heads for high-performance micro-geomagnetic sensors (MI sensors) in smartphones and electronic compass chips for watches currently mass-produced by Aichi Steel Corporation. (Since two years ago, it has evolved into a two-company system of technical tie-ups between Aichi Steel Corporation and ROHM CO., LTD.)

Ultra-rapid quenching amorphous wire preparation in water is not expected from conventional amorphous preparation methods. The amorphous alloy was born in 1970 as the world's first P. Duez professor's laboratory in the United States, but it was crushed FePC foil made by brass and steel piston-anvil methods. In this case, the ultra-rapid cooling is performed by crushing a metal with a high thermal conductivity (the thermal conductivity (W/mK) is 395 (100°C) for copper and 72 (100°C) for iron), and a long amorphous ribbon (about 25μm thick) is formed by ultra-rapid cooling on the surfaces of rotating metal (steel) drums. The idea of making amorphous alloys using high thermal conductivity materials in the United States makes it difficult to find the idea of superquenching with water (thermal conductivity is 0.673 (80℃) and less than one hundredth of iron).

However, amorphous wires of extremely uniform length of km with a circular cross section of about 130μm in diameter are actually mass-produced by the rotating underwater ultra-quenching method. It is considered that it exhibits characteristics such as X-ray halo pattern, toughness and elasticity, which is a standard of amorphous alloy, and crystal is not observed by 100,000-fold electron microscope, and it also exhibits excellent soft magnetic characteristics due to a specific magnetic domain structure, and it is considered that it becomes a matrix for discovering "magnetic impedance effect" which is a principle of high-performance micromagnetic sensors.

The author's motto is "Analyzing and Learning from Successful Cases." Why is high-performance, high-quality amorphous alloy wire realized by ultra-quenching in water? From here, we are naturally interested in the "water" function. Water is also used in the steelmaking process of Aichi Steel in a variety of situations, including quenching. The author's Study of Water and Magnetics began in 2001. Electromagnetic properties of water support the functions of organisms and life and are very interesting. I would like to keep these details for another opportunity. The main point is that the electromagnetic function of water is caused by protons (protons; H+). First, it is true (J. Walker et al.) that the production of the bioenergetic substance ATP in cellular mitochondrial ATPases, which is of paramount importance to the existence of organisms on humans and the earth, takes place in the proton stream in cellular water. Based on the new physiology (ATP physiology) that emerged in the latter half of the 1990s, we have discovered a new health method that "activates the body by making protons in the water of the human body (blood and other body fluids) easier to move." The presence of protons in water has never been directly observed or measured, but as (1) water has a negative magnetic susceptibility (χ =-0.720 × 10-6 (20°C) in CGS-electromagnetic units per 1g), which can be explained by the fact that the proton magnetic moment 1.4106 × 10-26 (J/T) in water faces in the opposite direction of the applied magnetic field, and (2) Super-Kamiokande, which proved that have mass, operates on the principle that positrons captured by an ultra-sensitive photosensor are generated with electrons when neutrinos collide with protons in the 50000 tons of ultrapure water in the pool, the presence of protons in the water can be estimated. Where do the protons in this water come from ? Although this has not yet been elucidated, one idea is that protons are generated by solar fusion, are ejected toward the Earth by sunspot activity, reach the magnetosphere, and stay around the geomagnetic field lines (i.e., the mechanism which forms the ionosphere and in which organisms on the Earth are not directly exposed to cosmic rays due to geomagnetism). Protons are lighter than atmospheric molecules, so they cannot reach the ground alone, and so water vapor molecules H2O rising from the sea, etc. are dynamically bonded with hydrogen bond energy (about 20 kJ/mol) and form water molecule clusters H+3O (H2O) n n = 1, 2,... which are heavier than atmospheric molecules, and reaches the ground as rain, and enters the body (cells) of living organisms.

I believe that protons in water (proton energy) exert an important effect in the formation of uniform long, high-quality amorphous wires by the above-mentioned in-water ultra-quenching method and in water treatment such as surface quenching in the steelmaking process. I feel that this may be an important point in the future, but in steel making technologies including amorphous wires, increasing the mobility of protons in water may have novel effects in various aspects in the future.

2017.08.29 - 09.01