Sheffield Forgemasters to present pioneering papers at global conference

Published: 19 September 2011

Sheffield Forgemasters will outline its pioneering technical developments, including computer simulation, material developments and world leading forging techniques to leaders in the global forging industry at a high-profile international conference.

Sheffield Forgemasters will share the scope of its research, a body of work which places the company at the forefront of manufacture for key industries, including civil nuclear power production and defence, at September’s International Forgemasters’ Meeting (IFM) in Pittsburgh, USA.

Delegates from Forgemasters will present the papers, which cover advances in metallurgical analysis, development of innovative forging methods for ultra-large forgings and specialist forging techniques tailored to the nuclear power market.

Dr Jesus Talamantes-Silva, director of Sheffield Forgemasters’ research and development facility, said: “This research and the papers we will deliver at the IFM are extremely important to the development of Sheffield Forgemasters’ portfolio within key industry sectors and will benefit this industry on a global level.

“Our work into such projects as the development of hollow ingots, extrusion techniques for large-scale forgings, definition of inclusions in steel making, production of large diameter tubesheets for civil nuclear power and development of forged steels for the nuclear industry has taken many years of input and a substantial investment.

“The papers have been refined so that these projects, as separate bodies of work, can be presented at the industry’s most illustrious conference.”

The team of delegates will discuss findings of their research with colleagues from other forgemasters across the globe, including highly complex methods of computer simulation enabling teams at the Brightside Lane plant to create their largest ever forged tubesheet, a component for use in civil nuclear power generation, which met stringent ASME international nuclear standards at the first attempt.

Other pioneering Sheffield Forgemasters’ work to be showcased at the IFM includes casting trials of a hollow steel ingot to help capitalise on key power generation sectors and the first time that large scale integral nozzle forging trials have been successful anywhere in Europe - another application with high potential for civil nuclear power generation.

Key research into metallurgy has enabled Sheffield Forgemasters to catalogue and characterise inclusions found in steelmaking to refine processes further and the development of different grades of steel for safety critical applications such as those required within the nuclear power industry.

The IFM takes place every three years and is the world’s most prestigious technical forging conference. Sheffield Forgemasters has led the gathering for eight years with its group director Peter Birtles acting as chairman.

Sheffield Forgemasters has worked with academia on some of its research projects and Dr Talamantes-Silva, a recently appointed professor at the University of Sheffield, gives practical lectures to countrywide students plus supervising third year, PhD and Post-graduate engineering students.

The company has an ongoing business strategy which includes reinvestment of all profits back into the business to maintain its high technology approach to business development.