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The development of China's aluminum foil industry has gone through four important stages and now embarks on a new journey!
Jul 31, 2021 16:22CST

After 90 years of development, China's aluminum foil industry has made remarkable achievements and has become the largest producer and exporter in the world. In 2020, China has about 157aluminum foil enterprises, with an output of 4050kt, accounting for about 65% of the global total; domestic apparent consumption of 2840kt, accounting for 70%; export of 1210kt, accounting for 30%; production capacity of nearly 6000kt, capacity utilization rate of 67.5% (lower, preferably 85%); there are 71 foil mills with roll width ≥ 2000mm in the country, of which 45 are imported. China's aluminum foil industry has set sail for a new journey from 2020. From July 2019 to March 2021, 11 aluminum foil projects are under construction and put into production, with a total production capacity of 1013kt. This is unprecedented in the history of the development of the aluminum foil industry in the world.

In 2020, the world aluminum foil output is 6230 kt, but the per capita aluminum foil consumption varies greatly from country to country. According to the data of (GLAFRI), the global aluminum foil producer initiative organization, the global per capita consumption is 0.7kg in 2017; South Korean 1.9kg, North American 1.79kg, China 1.61kg, EU 1.56kg, Japan 1.51kg, Russia and Eastern Europe 0.58kg, Brazil 0.42kg, South Africa 0.16kg, India 0.12kg. It is estimated that by 2028, the consumption of aluminum foil in China will reach 3500kt, that is, the per capita consumption is nearly 2.5kg, which may reach or close to the peak, and of course it will increase slowly, but the increase in output since then is mainly determined by the export volume. Chinese aluminum foil has a strong competitiveness in the international market.

The author divides the development of China's aluminum foil industry into four stages: the initial stage from 1932 to 1960, the start-up period from 1961 to 1980, the rapid development period from 1981 to 1999, and the new journey since 2000.

1932 ~ 1960

The initial acquaintance period of China's aluminum foil industry

At the beginning of the 20th century, China's tobacco industry boomed, and there was a great demand for aluminum foil for cigarette packaging, and all the aluminum foil used at that time were imported. Under this situation, three aluminum companies from Canada, Switzerland and Britain built China's first aluminum foil factory in Yangpu District, Shanghai, using the old equipment eliminated by Swiss Aluminium Company. It was called Shanghai Steel Fine works. At that time, Chinese business circles called aluminum steel fine, and the plant began to be built in 1930. Construction broke ground in 1931 and was put into production in December 1932.

At that time, the factory used imported foil strip to roll aluminum foil. At the beginning of the establishment of the factory, there were only 127employees. In 1933, it was changed to three shifts of continuous production, with an average output of 113t/ months. In 1935, smelting and casting, strip rolling and other equipment were put into production, and the equipment for coloring, embossing and laminating of round sheet and foil was added, and the monthly output was up to 400t. So far, China Aluminum Steel Refining Plant has become a complete manufacturer of aluminum plate, strip and foil, with aluminum ingots imported from Canada, Britain, Norway, Switzerland and other countries, and the products are sold in the domestic market. The average monthly output of the plant in 1948 was 290t, including 150T of foil, 70t of aluminum plate (including wafer) and 70t of belt.

In addition to cigarette foil, Huabao Steel Refining Plant also produces laminated aluminum foil for candy (thick 0.009mm), tea aluminum foil for Kraft paper (thick 0.014mm), and capacitor aluminum foil for unframed paper (thick 0.006mm~0.0075mm). After the liberation of Shanghai, the management lost interest in enterprise management, the output decreased greatly, and the monthly output decreased from 300t~400t to 70t~80t. Under such circumstances, the party and the state adopted the policy of "utilization, restriction and transformation" to private industry and commerce in a timely manner, which promoted the recovery of production and the prosperity of the market. Before July 1960, the output of China Aluminum Steel Refining Plant was maintained at about 1000 t / a, of which the output of aluminum foil was only 100 t / a. In July 1960, as the last foreign enterprise in mainland China, Sinalco Steel Refining Plant was paid to be state-owned, renamed as "local state-owned Shanghai Aluminum products Factory", and later renamed "Shanghai Aluminum Factory", under the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Light Industry.

The production of the state-owned Shanghai Aluminum Plant has developed extremely fast, and the production situation has undergone earth-shaking changes in half a year. The output of aluminum rolled products has doubled. Compared with that before the state operation, the average monthly output has increased by 414.4%, the average monthly output value has increased by 385.4%, and the labor rate has increased by 248.2%. In 1961, the factory trial-produced toothpaste tube pure aluminum plate, the aluminum foil also began to export in the same year, but the aluminum foil production has not expanded, it is still 1800t/a.

In 1959, Liaoning Electronic Aluminum foil Factory (Dandong Aluminum foil Factory) was put into production with a production capacity of 900t/a. This means that China's aluminum foil production capacity was 2700t/an in 1960.

1961 ~ 1980

The start-up period of China's aluminum foil industry

In 1976, the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry approved Northeast Light Alloy Company to increase the construction of aluminum foil section. In 1980, a four-high 1200mm universal foil mill was introduced from West Germany Ashenbach Company and put into production. It is the first advanced foil mill in China with a production capacity of 900t/a. Prior to this, during the period of the first five-year Plan, Northeast Light Alloy Aluminum Co., Ltd. built an aluminum foil workshop modeled on the model of China Aluminum Steel Refinery, with a production capacity of 5000t. Due to lack of experience, none of the 93 trial-produced equipment could be used normally and had to be thoroughly revamped. It took three years and was put into production in 1962, with a production capacity of 1500t. It meets the demand for aluminum foil in China's national economic construction from the 1960s to the mid-1970s. During the 20 years from 1961 to 1980, nine aluminum foil plants were built in various parts of China based on this workshop, with a total production capacity of about 13.5kt/a.

The Northwest Aluminum processing Plant is the largest aluminum processing plant built in the 1960s, a relocation enterprise, and is built according to the "third-line construction" planning. The leading equipment and some backbone personnel are drawn from the Northeast Light Alloy Co., Ltd., and the production capacity of foil, tube, bar, shape, line and powder is 7200t. Among them, the production capacity of foil is 900t, and complete sets of foil equipment was produced in East Germany at that time. It was made by East Germany for the Soviet Union as a war reparations and resold to China by the Soviet Union. The type of equipment was similar to that of Hua Aluminum Steel Refinery, but it was well-manufactured and successfully debugged to produce qualified products.

In October 1977, the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry decided to build a North China Aluminum processing Plant in Zhuoxian County, Hebei Province, and the ground was broken in September 1978. by December 1980, the first phase of the project had been put into production, forming a strip production capacity of 5000t / a, using twin-roll continuous casting billet as billet. 550t plate and strip, deep drawing out some products and a small amount of foil, which is of milestone significance in the development of China's aluminum processing industry.

From 1981 to 1999,

The period of rapid development of China's aluminum foil industry

With the rapid development of reform and opening up, China's aluminum foil industry has also entered a period of rapid development, introducing a large number of advanced technology and equipment. In 2004, China exported 75 kt of aluminum foil, imported 64.4 kt and net export 10.6 kt. Since 1918, China has been a net importer of aluminum foil. In 2006, the output of aluminum foil in China was 788 kt, surpassing the 780 kt in the United States and ranking first in the world.

In January 1981, North China Aluminum processing Plant began to build the second phase of the project, and decided to import a Φ 420max 1100 × 1600mm four-high irreversible cold rolling mill from Kobe Iron and Steel Company of Japan, which is the first cold mill in China to reach the advanced level in the world, and also introduced a Φ 260max 700 × 1600mm aluminum foil roughing and medium rolling mill and a Φ 260max 700 × 1600mm aluminum foil medium and finishing mill, as well as other complete equipment, leading equipment was all imported. It was completed and put into production on December 25, 1982. So far, the output of flat-rolled aluminum products of North China Aluminum processing Plant has reached 5kt of strip, 5kt of foil, and 2kt/an of extruded material. At the beginning of 1984, the construction of the third phase of the project began and was put into production in 1986. On July 16, 1984, the first Sino-foreign joint venture in China's aluminum industry, "Sino-Japanese Zhuoshen Special Nonferrous Metal processing equipment Co., Ltd." was established.

In February 1981, North China Aluminum processing Plant sent the roll-casting strip produced by the self-built continuous casting-rolling line to Japan's Xiaoshan Aluminum Rolling Mill for trial rolling of aluminum foil. the average yield of 0.007mm × 260mm foil reached 75.8%, and the quality was almost the same as that of Japanese foil, indicating that China's cast-rolling production line can produce qualified aluminum foil strip billets, laying the foundation for China to become a big and powerful country of aluminum foil in the future.

Since the 1980s, especially after the third Plenary session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, with the opening to the outside world and the implementation of domestic economic policies, the state has appointed batch after batch of engineers and technical personnel and leading cadres at all levels to inspect abroad. Foreign experts are invited to exchange technology, understand and see the development of aluminum processing in the world, and find the gap with foreign advanced technology. Since then, China's aluminum foil industry has entered the stage of high-speed continuous construction and production, and all completed projects have reached the international level or the international leading level. By December 2010, all two-high foil mills have been completely eliminated in accordance with the national structural adjustment policy. In 2007, China became one of the primary powers of aluminum foil in the world.

Among the more than 150 aluminum foil enterprises of a certain scale, there are about 11 with double zero foil production capacity ≥ 100kt/a. They are: China Matrix Composites Co., Ltd., Zhongwang Group (Yingkou Factory and Tianjin Plant), Hongqiao Aluminum Co., Ltd. (Zouping Factory and Weihai Plant), Shenghuo Aluminum Co., Ltd. (Shangqiu Factory and Shanghai Plant), Zhenjiang Dingsheng Aluminum Co., Ltd., Xiashun Aluminum foil Co., Ltd., Dongguang Youxijie Electronic Aluminum foil Co., Ltd., Shengtong Aluminum Co., Ltd., North China Aluminum Co., Ltd., Chinalco (Northeast Light, Northwest Aluminum, Henan Aluminum, Southwest Aluminum, Ruimin), Yunnan Aluminum (Huxin, Yongxin, Haoxin, etc.).

The billet coils used for the production of aluminum foil are twin-roll continuous casting-rolling, ingot hot rolling and Hazlet continuous casting and rolling, and casting-rolling is mainly used in China. In 2020, there are about 900 twin-roll cast-rolling lines in China, and the production capacity of cast-rolling coils is about 9000kt. About 70% of China's aluminum foil is produced from cast-rolled strip billets, and 28.7% of foil is produced from hot-rolled strip billets. This is unique in the field of aluminum foil production in the world, which shows that the technology and technology of aluminum foil production in China is in the leading level in the world. The consumption of Hazhlet continuous casting and rolling billet accounts for 1.3%, but the consumption will increase in the future.

China aluminum foil industry in 2000

The period of setting sail for a new journey

China's aluminum foil industry has a special significance in the development journey from the first half of 2019 to March 2021: the production capacity 1013kt/a under construction and production. By 2030, China's aluminum foil production capacity may rise to the "ceiling" of 7500kt.

Projects under construction and production capacity

120kt/an aluminum foil of Longquan aluminum alloy processing project in Henan and Hong Kong, Daqing

Daqing Yugang Longquan aluminum alloy processing materials project plans to invest 33 billion yuan, covering an area of 10 square kilometers, with a total construction area of 10 million m2. It was launched at the beginning of March 2019 and fully put into production in 2023. The production capacity of flat-rolled aluminum products is 1200kt, extruded materials is 1000kt, foil is 120kt, and production capacity of fine and deep processing products is 200kt/a. After all the completion and production, the estimated sales income is 80 billion yuan / a ~ 100 billion yuan / a, and the profit and tax is 8 billion yuan / a ~ 10 billion yuan / a.

50kt/an Electronic Aluminum foil Project in Huyanghe City, Qishi

June 13, 2020, Xinjiang Agricultural Division and Guangxi Hezhou Guidong Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. signed a total investment of 500 million yuan electronic aluminum foil production line project. The project will complete 100 foil production lines in two phases. the first phase has started construction in July 2020 and has been put into production in July this year. Hu Yanghe City, the seventh division, has successively introduced six electronic aluminum foil enterprises, such as Garden Beile and Donghao Tiancheng, to build more than 300 electronic aluminum foil production lines, forming an electronic aluminum foil industry group with an annual output value of 5 billion yuan.

Wanji Holdings 120kt/a double Zero foil casting and Rolling Strip Project

Wanji holding Group Co., Ltd. 120kt/a double zero foil casting and rolling strip project started construction on September 1, 2020, plans to put into production in September this year, build 10 production lines, investment of 450 million yuan, after completion reached production, sales revenue of 1.8 billion yuan / a.

72kt/an Electronic foil Engineering of Wanshun New Materials Co., Ltd.

Wanshun New Materials Co., Ltd. invested 750 million yuan in the construction of 72kt/an electronic aluminum foil project, which is scheduled to start construction this year.

Batch production of 6.0mm aluminum foil billet by Tiancheng Color Aluminum Co., Ltd., Jiuquan Iron and Steel Group

The thickness of cast-rolling strip used for rolling aluminum foil is usually 6.5mm to 7.0mm. In March 2021, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Group Dongxing Aluminum Tiancheng Color Aluminum Co., Ltd. successfully produced 6.0mm thick cast-rolling strip coil for rolling double zero foil. It is difficult to produce such thin cast-rolling coil with conventional twin-roll casting mill, but it has certain economic benefits for aluminum foil production enterprises. Tiancheng Color Aluminum Co., Ltd. has trial-produced more than 200 tons of aluminum alloy 6.0mm strip coil of air-conditioning foil for the first time, with a qualified rate of 91.2%. The surface quality and mechanical properties are up to the standard and are welcomed by users.

Jinyu Aluminum-based New material 190kt/a Project

Anhui Jinyu aluminum-based new materials industry project is located in the aluminum-based new materials industry development planning area of Xinlou Park, Jingkai District, Congyang County, with a total investment of 2.1 billion yuan, new production plant, R & D center and other 92100m2. After all the completion and production, the production capacity of various kinds of aluminum foil is 190 kt / a, the sales income is about 5 billion yuan / a, and the tax revenue is about 200 million yuan / a.

Production project and production capacity

200kt/an Aluminum foil Project of Lanzhou New area Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd.

The project is a key project of the new green aluminum processing industrial park in the northwest of Lanzhou New area, with a construction land of 500mu and an investment of 2 billion yuan. Lanzhou New area Aluminum Co., Ltd., established by Lanzhou New area Trade and Logistics Investment Group Co., Ltd and Henan Hongsheng Renewable Resources Utilization Co., Ltd., mainly produces air conditioning foil, medicine foil, battery foil and so on. Among them: household foil 70kt/a, air conditioning foil 65kt/a, packaging double zero foil 20kt/a, medicine foil 15kt/a, battery foil 10kt/a, other foil 20kt/a. After reaching production, the sales income can reach 4.8 billion yuan / a, the profit and tax will reach 270 million yuan / a, and 800new jobs will be created. The first phase of 50kt/a was put into production in September this year.

80kt/an expansion Project of Dingsheng New Materials Co., Ltd.

Zhenjiang Dingsheng Group New Materials Co., Ltd. has a number of projects that can be put into production in the first half of 2020, such as the power battery electrode foil 40kt/a photofoil and 10kt/a battery coating foil production line and brazing foil project with an investment of 600 million yuan. Brazing foil has high technical content, many working procedures, complex technological process and high added value.

36kt/a Project of Yun Aluminum Haoxin Aluminum foil Division

Yunnan Aluminum Haoxin Aluminum foil Mill successfully ran a test run on October 5, 2019, completely opening the last Barrier of the wide rolling production process of 36kt/a high-precision ultra-thin aluminum foil project, and taking a big step forward for the company to improve product structure, improve efficiency increment and achieve design capacity. The foil mill, originally installed in Jinmasi production area, is a 1850mm mill imported from the United States.

Dongyang Guangyou Ai Xijie 40kt/a Fine foil Project

R32, the first rolling mill of "Annual 40kt/a High Precision Aluminum foil New material Project" of Ruyuan Dongguang you Aixijie Fine foil Co., Ltd., began to be installed on April 2, 2020. The project has an investment of 600 million yuan, and the production capacity of plate, strip and foil can reach 150 kt / an after it is put into production, with an additional output value of more than 1 billion yuan / a, which solves the current situation of importing high-end battery foil in China. The fine foil company will also become one of the important production bases in China with three high-tech core products: electronic foil, brazing foil and battery foil.

Shenhuo 105kt/an aluminum foil project

On May 15, 2020, Shenhuo Group 105kt/a high-end double zero foil project "roughing mill installation completed," medium rolling mill installation completed in mid-May, 10% installation completed in May 20, outdoor pipe network was completed in April 2020, medium and low voltage cables were completed in May, carborundum floor in the workshop was completed in June, and greening of the plant was completed at the same time.

This project is a major project of Shenhuo Group to make up the short board of the downstream industrial chain of "coal-electricity-aluminum-material". The products are positioned as high-end foil, electronic foil and pharmaceutical foil, and more than 70% of the products are supplied to the international high-end market. The main production equipment: 6 Ashenbach 2000mm foil mills, 8 coiling machines, 2 roll grinders, etc., which is the most imported equipment in the domestic aluminum foil industry and built at one time. The project is located in Shangqiu City, Henan Province, with a total investment of 3.6 billion yuan and a production capacity of 55kt. The first batch of products is 0.006mm foil, and it was successfully put off the line on January 25th, 2021.

Since the second half of 2019, China's aluminum foil industry has entered a new stage, with an unprecedented scale of construction. 11 large aluminum foil projects have been put into production and started construction in the 21 months from July 2019 to March this year, with a total production capacity of 1013kt, with a total investment of more than 12 billion yuan, with an average investment of 570 million yuan per month. For a country, this is unprecedented in the history of the development of the world aluminum foil industry.

Aluminum foil

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