CONGRESS ASKED TO LOOK INTO QUALITY OF STEEL BARS
A former senator has asked Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to initiate an inquiry into the safety of using quenched tempered (QT) steel bars in the construction of tall buildings, as well as in government infrastructure projects.
Anna Dominique Coseteng, president of the Philippine Induction Smelting Industry Association, said she had made the same request to members of the House of Representatives.
QT bars, also known as ther-- momechanically treated rebars, are produced by using a water spray to rapidly cool plain lowcarbon steel, according to Emilio Morales, former chair of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines.
Morales had warned about the dangers of using QT in seismic areas, like many parts of the Philippines.
Makers claim the bars to be Grade60or those with the tensile strength of 60,000 psi (poundforce per square inch), which is how much weight these can carry before these break. Grade 60 is considered a strong steel bar.
“These QT bars manufactured by members of Pisi [Philippine Iron and Steel Institute] … are they Grade 60? Can these be welded, threaded, bended? Pisi has not answered these questions,” Coseteng told a forum of the Pampanga Press Club here on Tuesday.
“The silence is causing us fear and anxiety,” she added.