Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless (NSSC) is claiming a world first by commercialising rebars made from 400 series stainless. Japan’s construction and transport ministry recently approved the bars for building applications. Japan’s largest stainless maker says that rebars made of 300 series stainless are used in construction projects in Japan, the USA and Europe – in hospitals, for example where their non−magnetic properties are valued – but not 400 series. In Japan, the market for stainless rebars is a fraction that of ordinary carbon bars at perhaps 10,000 tonnes/year, NSSC admits. NSSC says it has only just begun offering samples to general contractors, and is still deciding its price policy. But the company’s spokesman suggested its 400 series bars might be 10% more expensive than epoxy−coated. The company makes the SUS410L bars at its Hikari works in western Japan in 13−25mm diameter sizes.