Transforming transportation landscape with innovation and sustainability

Rajamani Krishnamurti Posted on: 2023-08-16 07:00:00 Viewer: 2,323 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

Transforming transportation landscape with innovation and sustainability

Given its extensive use in infrastructure, the demand for stainless steel is often seen as a barometer of a country’s economic growth and development.

Globally, the automobile, railways, and transport sector is a significant demand centre for stainless steel as the material is extensively employed in meeting transportation infrastructure needs.

In India, the automobile, railways, and transport sector – which consumes close to 13% of the country’s total steel production - is poised to become a key enabler for the growth and expansion of the stainless-steel industry as the country looks to achieve its sustainability goals.

The automobile, railways, and transport sector in India plays a pivotal role in driving the country's rapid economic growth, contributing over 10% to the nation's GDP. This sector remains on a trajectory of continuous expansion, fueled by factors such as a growing population, urbanisation, and the need for efficient and sustainable transportation systems.

The automobile, railways, and transport sector is consistently adding value across its various stages, and there is a noticeable surge in the momentum of stainless steel within this sector.

The demand for stainless steel within the sector has experienced robust growth of nearly 30% over the past decade, primarily driven by substantial requirements for railway wagons, passenger coaches, and automotive exhaust systems.

Stainless steel is increasingly being recognised as a game-changer in the automobile, railways, and transport sector largely due to its unique properties that can enhance performance, durability, and safety. The metal offers an optimal balance of lightweight construction and high strength, making it an ideal choice for the automobile, railways, and transport sector.

By utilising lightweight stainless steel, vehicles can significantly reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and overall environmental impact. Moreover, stainless steel enables the production of resilient and secure automobiles and railway components, ensuring enhanced passenger safety.

Additionally, stainless steel's inherent resistance to corrosion positions it as a preferred material for various automobile components, railway infrastructure, and transport systems. Its corrosion resistance guarantees long-lasting performance while simultaneously reducing maintenance costs.

This quality has been exemplified in the successful utilisation of stainless steel in Vande Bharat train coaches, showcasing its numerous benefits and contributions to modernising India's railway system.

The incorporation of stainless steel in Vande Bharat coaches has not only enhanced their structural integrity but also added a sleek and modern touch to their design. By leveraging stainless steel's durability and aesthetic appeal, the coaches have provided passengers with a visually pleasing and safe experience.

Given the environmental challenges we face today, sustainability is a key focus in the transportation sector, accounting for nearly 40% of air pollution in India. Stainless steel is highly sustainable as it is 100% recyclable with a low carbon footprint. By minimising waste generation, stainless steel promotes a circular economy. This sets it apart from all other metals, making it the preferred metal of choice.

Future outlook

With its exceptional properties, stainless steel is poised to revolutionise how we design and manufacture vehicles, railways, and transport infrastructure. The domestic stainless-steel demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% till FY2025. This demand will be strongly fuelled by the increasing adoption of Stainless steel in the automobile, railways, and transport sector.

While developed nations currently utilise 19% of stainless steel in motor vehicles, developing countries, including India, have a consumption rate of around 5%.

However, this figure is expected to rise significantly as the Indian government actively promotes electric mobility and enforces more stringent emission regulations. Stainless steel is expected to play a significant role in producing EVs and their components, such as battery enclosures and chassis.

Further, the Indian Railways' ambitious plans for developing dedicated freight corridors, high-speed rail networks, and station modernisation will drive the demand for stainless steel. Stainless steel's durability, corrosion resistance, and low maintenance requirements make it a preferred material for tracks, bridges, and station infrastructure.

The ongoing modernisation projects offer substantial growth potential for this wonder metal in the railway sector.

Similarly, India's transport infrastructure is undergoing significant transformation, with an increased focus on building sustainable and efficient systems. Major cities are investing in metro rail networks, bus rapid transit systems, and smart city initiatives. The need for robust and long-lasting transport infrastructure is expected to be a major demand driver for the use and consumption of stainless steel.

India's growing automobile, railways, and transport sector offers a multitude of opportunities for the increased utilisation of stainless steel. As the demand for efficient, sustainable, and safe transportation systems rises, stainless steel's lightweight nature, strength, corrosion resistance, and sustainability make it an ideal choice for the industry.

Stainless steel manufacturers and suppliers should continue to innovate, collaborate, and cater to the evolving needs of the automobile, railways, and transport sector, contributing to the growth and development of India's transportation infrastructure.

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