Gerdau has just completed 20 years of experience in the special steel bar (SBQ) business. The Company, which was originally founded in 1901 as a nail manufacturer, expanded into the special steel manufacturing sector in 1992 with the acquisition of the Piratini mill in Charqueadas, Brazil. During the last 20 years Gerdau has invested more than US $4 billion to acquire assets in Brazil, the United States, Spain, and India, in addition to making capacity, capability and technical upgrades to these facilities. Special steels have specific physical and metallurgical characteristics for critical applications in various industries such as automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural, distribution, energy, and mining. Today, Gerdau is one of the leading producers of special steels in the world and the world's largest supplier of special long steel for the automotive industry. Gerdau is committed to offering innovative solutions of superior quality to its customers and has special steel research and development centers in Brazil, the United States, and Spain, where a pioneering project in nanotechnology is underway. The purpose of this research project is to develop new types of special nano-alloyed steel for the automotive industry. The company also conducts seminars and training courses in several countries where it operates to better inform its customers about the processes of manufacturing, shaping, and heat treating of special steel; the mechanical properties and chemical composition of special steel; and the applications and selection of products.
Gerdau is always striving for excellence of its products and services, and is continuously investing in technological upgrades of its industrial plants. An expansion project is currently underway at the company’s Monroe, Mich. plant, and should be completed by the second half of 2013. The initiative includes the installation of a new continuous casting system as well as a new walking beam reheat furnace and additional rolling mill stands. The company’s other special steel mills in the United States, located in Fort Smith, Ark., Jackson, Mich., and St. Paul, Minn., will also receive investments to better serve customers of the automotive and industrial sectors. In order to meet the demand from automakers in Brazil, Gerdau is also planning further investments in its Brazilian plants. An expansion of the Pindamonhangaba mill is scheduled with the installation of a new special steel rolling mill along with a new continuous casting and a new reheating furnace for rolling. This expansion will increase the mill’s annual installed capacity from 700,000 metric tons of rolled products to 1.2 million metric tons. In the Mogi das Cruzes mill, the rolling capacity will be increased from 216,000 metric tons to 276,000 metric tons per year. Both expansions should be operational by the end of 2012. This year Gerdau will also start up operations of a blast furnace, melt shop and rolling mill for special steel in India, which will have an installed capacity of 300,000 metric tons. This investment in will also include a power plant, iron ore sintering unit and coke plant along with a new vacuum degasser. About GerdauGerdau is the leader in the segment of long steel in the Americas and one of the main producers of special long steel in the world. With over 45,000 employees, it has industrial operations in 14 countries - in the Americas, Europe, and Asia—which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest scrap recycler in Latin America and worldwide transforms millions of metric tons of this raw material into new steel products each year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has over 140,000 shareholders.