Implementing new technologies and carrying out industrial research and virtual design for our processes allows us to manufacture the most complex castings and forgings in the world. RD&T is at the heart of everything we do.
In 1978, River Don Castings (now part of Sheffield Forgemasters) manufactured the first ultra-large cast node in the world, launching a manufacturing stream which transformed the assembly speed and structural integrity of offshore oil and gas platforms.
Sheffield Forgemasters’ innovation led to fully cast nodes rather than fabrications, which have since been supplied almost exclusively by Sheffield Forgemasters to North Sea Oil and Gas fixed platforms. The continued innovation by our RD&T department now places Sheffield Forgemasters in a prime position to transition this knowledge and skillset to new Renewables markets, including Floating Offshore Wind platforms.
Sheffield Forgemasters has also pioneered the development and industrialisation of Electron Beam Welding. In 2022 the company weld-joined two 200 mm thick, three-meter diameter vessel sections in UK-SMR nuclear grade steel. The weld, equivalent to approximately 10m of length, was completed in a single pass and in just 140 minutes. A weld of this requirement would traditionally take months, including numerous stages of NDT and heat-treatment.