How the world’s first ironmaking business could revolutionise manufacturing
A new ironmaking company has raised $12 million in funding led by China’s state-owned China National Chemical Corporation, the country’s main steelmaking company.
The company, Iron Sky Ironworks, aims to become the world first company to produce iron at scale and scale-up its production by the end of this year.
It also plans to produce a range of products in China including steel, pipes, and metals.
The investment comes as China’s steel industry has suffered from a string of disasters, including a major earthquake in 2011 that caused extensive damage to the country.
“Iron Sky Iron Works is an ambitious and exciting new company with an innovative product pipeline,” said Chris Rader, chief executive officer of Iron Sky.
“We believe in our product pipeline and the way we approach manufacturing.
We’ve been working on a range on the cutting edge of our business for a number of years and we’re excited to be partnering with China National to bring the world to Iron Sky’s doorstep.”
Iron Sky is now part of a joint venture between China’s biggest steelmaking companies.
The deal was announced on Thursday, and the first deliveries will be made in 2017.
Iron Sky plans to hire between 20 and 25 people and will use a third-party production facility in Beijing.
The team is looking to scale up production to 50,000 tonnes per year by the middle of the decade.
“Our first orders will be for the production of IronSky’s first commercial product, a steel alloy called Mabu,” Iron Sky said in a statement.
“This product is a combination of copper, iron, zinc, cobalt and iron oxide, which is what makes Iron Sky the world leader in steel production.”
IronSky will make the Mabus in two phases, with the first to be finished by 2020.
The second phase, due to be completed by 2021, will use the iron alloy Mabue and steel from a second Iron Sky production facility.
The companies are also exploring other production processes, such as making steel in the same way that iron ore is produced in the US.
“There are several iron ore-based materials that are very important to us in the world market, but there’s a gap in our manufacturing,” Rader said.
“Mabu is a unique alloy, because it is a very high-quality iron that has a high melting point and it’s also very stable.
We can make MabU to a very specific standard, but it has to be at a very, very low temperature.”
The company’s iron products have been used in the manufacture of steel for years, and it is also one of the largest producers of steel in China.
In the last few years, China has witnessed a dramatic rise in the use of the metal, and a sharp fall in the cost of steel products.
IronSky is hoping to increase its production capacity by the 2020s.