Sheffield Takes Charge of 'Large' With Stainless Ingots and Other Projects

Feb. 17, 2015
A series of stainless ingots are the latest proof of SFIL’s skill processing on a large scale.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. reports recently it processed the largest ingots ever to be forged from a specialty grade of stainless steel. The ingots were produced in an electroslag remelting (ESR) process by Rubiera Special Steel SpA, a part of the Ringmill Group.

ESR is a process for remelting and refining steel and “superalloys” for critical materials used in aerospace, defense, and power-generation systems.

Large-dimension parts are more than a specialty for Sheffield Forgemasters: they are a way of life. SFIL produces steel castings up to 350 metric tons and forgings of up to 275 mt. It claims to have supplied more than 46,000 mt of engineered components to the offshore oil-and-gas industry.

  • Another large-dimension program lately in the news for SFIL involved a series of forged steel rolls for the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in Russia, a Severstal operation that processes automotive quality hot- and cold-rolled steel.
  • Last fall, SFIL produced a series of oversized castings under contract to SMS Meer, which placed an order for 11 castings to be supplied over two years, for mill stands it is manufacturing, a project reported to be worth $19 million, according to SFIL.
  • Even more recently, SFIL began pouring a series of ingots that required 600 metric tons of molten steel and will weigh over 320 metric tons in their finished state.

“This is not the first time we have produced castings of this size, but the process is highly complex with precise timescales for each element of the pour—from melting the steel, transporting such large volumes of molten steel across the site, and scheduling the continuous pour,” explained SFIL’s Dr. Steve Price, managing director of sales.

“I am pleased to say that the process went exactly as planned and we are already scheduling the second casting over the next four weeks.”

In the stainless steel forging project, Forgemasters worked with the Italian manufacturer to develop the finished products, which are destined to operate in high-stress conditions (as required in petrochemical refining) as components of a pressure-vessel system for a global chemicals manufacturer.

SFIL’s role is forging and rough-machining the ingots, each weighing over 170 metric tons, as well as finish machining and pressure testing the completed assemblies.

“For such a safety-critical application we needed a partner who could manage product development alongside a production commitment,” according to David Bunney, sales manager at SFIL.

“Rubiera worked extremely hard to demonstrate their capabilities for making 15-5PH stainless steel of the highest quality and to meet exacting client expectations.”

Bunney, who also chairs the U.K. Pressure Vessel Manufacturing Forum, added: “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 Forgemasters’ strongest, unique selling points is the time-served reliability of our products,” he continued, “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 capitalizing on a diverse range of markets through the provision of proven technical manufacture,” he concluded.

About the Author

Ellen Baran | Content Marketing | Producer - LNB Web Design/Cynosure

Ellen Baran has been involved in the digital space for over 12 years. Specializing in user engagement, Ellen has worked closely with Robert Brooks, Editor-in-Chief of American Machinist and Foundry magazines to develop unique and compelling content for readers.

Ellen is the owner of LNB Web Design/Cynosure and graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, IL majoring in Communications.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Editor/Content Director - Endeavor Business Media

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others.

Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing—including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)


Sheffield Forgemasters has experience casting largedimension parts ndash including past projects producing parts for AjaxCeco presses
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