CONGRESS ASKED TO LOOK INTO QUAL­ITY OF STEEL BARS

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - REGIONS - —TONETTEOREJAS INQ

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.

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