International supply chain for largest stainless steel ingots

Heavy engineering specialist, Sheffield Forgemasters, has used an international supply chain to help deliver the largest electroslag remelting (ESR) ingots ever made in a specialist grade of stainless steel.

Sheffield Forgemasters has worked in conjunction with Rubiera Special Steel SpA, part of the Ringmill Group in Italy, for the development and production of the ingots for pressure vessel components for a large global chemicals manufacturer.

Now in final stages of manufacture, the multi-million pound components have been designed to operate under highly stressed conditions as required for the petrochemical manufacturing industry.

The deal builds on Forgemasters’ many years of experience in the large, complex petrochemical pressure vessel business and continues the company’s supply into this significant global market.

David Bunney, Sales Manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, who is also chairman of the UK Pressure Vessel Manufacturing Forum, said: "For such a safety critical application we needed a partner who could manage product development alongside a production commitment. Rubiera worked extremely hard to demonstrate their capabilities for making 15-5PH stainless steel of the highest quality and to meet exacting client expectations.”

"Pressure vessel manufacture has a long history at Forgemasters with many large-scale units produced over many years. We see considerable potential in the global market in the coming years for pressure vessel equipment.

“One of Sheffield Forgemasters’ strongest unique selling points is the time-served reliability of our products which gives clients the confidence to work with us where safe operation is the prime consideration.

“This is a significant order as it demonstrates this company’s expertise in capitalising on a diverse range of markets through the provision of proven technical manufacture.”

The details of the order includes the manufacture and supply of rough-machined forgings, weighing more than 170 tonnes in total, and the finish machining and pressure testing of the completed assembly.

ESR, also known as electro-flux remelting, is a process of remelting and refining steel and other alloys for mission-critical applications in aircraft, power stations and defence. The process is used to remelt and refine steels and various super-alloys, resulting in high-quality ingots.

Project completion and delivery is expected in early 2015.

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