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China order boosts Forgemasters' international reputation

03 March 2010

Huge back-up rolls made in Sheffield will play a crucial role in important infrastructure projects in China.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has secured a multi million pound contract to provide eight 170-tonne rolls for a steel mill in Xingcheng.

They will be used to roll steel plate for ships, bridges, and pipes carrying gas and water.

The order for the huge back-up rolls, with barrel diameters of 2.2 metres, confirms the company's important standing in the global market place as leading UK exporters.

The rolls are responsible for applying the many tonnes of pressure required in the plate steel-making process.

Martin Wilks, senior sales manager at SFIL, said: "There are some massive projects going on in China at present involving the movement of water and gas and necessitating the use of strong, high quality plate steel piping which can withstand high pressure. It is very satisfying to know that Sheffield expertise, in the form of our back-up rolls, is making such a vital contribution to these important schemes."

The order affirms the company's decision to develop a giant ingot mould capable of increasing the size range of Forgemasters' steel rolls. Its 170-tonne rolls can now be used to produce plates of steel over 4.5 metres wide - more than one metre wider than generally produced - and ideal for the ship building and pipe industries.

The wider steel plates not only save valuable welding time but also significantly reduce the time needed to inspect for metal fatigue.

Martin added: "Forgemasters is one of very few companies in the world with the capability to supply steel rolls of this size, which puts us in a very strong competitive position internationally. Demand for 170-tonne rolls is increasing throughout the world and, happily, we are in a position to be able to meet it. Quality is also important and stands us in good stead against our competitors."

The company has also produced back-up rolls for other mills in China and recently won the Yorkshire and Humber Business Award in recognition of its work to develop its Chinese business base.

Xingcheng has a long and distinguished history and its city walls have stood since they were first constructed in 1428.