In the 21st century, China’s vibrant construction demand will significantly drive the growth of fastener industry. Through decades of development, China fastener industry has apparently leveled up its technology which is implemented in a few actual applications. First, in recent years China fastener companies increased the development and application of raw materials and have made progress in heat treating raw materials, leading to the successful development of 10.9 grade high strength fasteners applied in automobiles, diesel engines and compressors. Second, China’s development in material selection, hot heading, heat treatment and surface treatment for M30-M65 10.9 grade high strength fasteners has panned out in response to the demand for localized wind power facilities. Additionally, China has reached a certain result in the development of heat-resistant materials, hot heading and heat treatment.
While making breakthroughs in manufacturing technique, China is advancing in fastener development with rapidly increasing fastener patents. During 2008 and 2017, the number of patent application for China fasteners kept increasing. Particularly 2012 marked the largest growth margin of 40.5% for the number of fastener patent application. In 2017 the number was 13,171.
With the development of the automobile, machinery, construction and light manufacturing industries, the global market has increasingly high requirement for fasteners, such as higher performance and lightweighting for cars, taller buildings and longer bridges, and requires fasteners to have better stress performance and be lightweight. The strength of bolts used on American cars are on an average grade of 9.2 and above, and some fasteners used on cars or machines are even required to have a tensile strength above 1400MPa.
The fastener technology gap between China and global advanced countries is more obvious in the supply of raw materials, and therefore, the future technological development of China will center on the development of raw materials. For example, in China the materials for fasteners are basically hot-rolled, so the future development of steels for fastener manufacture in China will center on adopting in-production softening treatment and developing high purity steel, untampered steel, micro-alloyed steel, ultra-fine grained steel, dual phase steel, and low carbon martensitic steel. Additionally, for now China’s high-end fasteners can only partially satisfy the market, some specially required fasteners have to be imported. For example, 90% of electronic screws in China are imported. Therefore, the focus of R&D will be developing high end fasteners.