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The new Minimac® 55 brings high performance eddy current testing to a broad range of tube production applications, at an affordable price. This is the first eddy current tester to offer the robust capabilities of Magnetic Analysis Corp.’s top of the line Multimac®, in a powerful, compact design.


The instrument is especially well suited for dedicated, continuous production line testing where simple setup, without the need for constant operator adjustment, is desirable. Once the optimum settings have been established, a lockout mode feature can be set to prevent unauthorized changes.

With MAC’s proprietary Multimac performance, the single channel Minimac 55 instrument features software controls for all functions, including phasing, filtering and sensitivity, all while operating at speeds over 4000 f.p.m. The test results are displayed in full-color polar and linear mode showing real time, true wave form signals for easy review on a separate on-site monitor or at remote locations. The Track screen depicts the test product’s length, with data on line speed, end suppression, flaw tracking, piece count and alarm routing.

Linear strip charts and complete test data, as well as an unlimited number of settings can be stored, annotated and recalled from a library on the internal storage device or network. When networked, multiple instruments can share the same library to ensure correct settings in multiple test lines. Setup and monitoring can be handled through a computer network, and reports with customer, product information, defect location, time, amplitude and phase, can be stored locally or on a network server for quick follow up and quality assurance.

Defects and conditions that can be readily detected by the Minimac 55 include finding short surface and some subsurface defects such as laps, slivers and cracks in tube, and locating weld line faults, including short ID or OD defects. The Minimac, using the MID model, can also detect magnetic inclusions such as iron filings in non-ferrous material.

MAC’s broad range of encircling and sector test coils is available for use with the Minimac which can also be configured for flaw or absolute mode, depending on the application. Coil Platforms, including those with DC saturation for testing magnetic material are offered.

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2014-07-15 071744Outokumpu together with number of other companies have reached full and final settlement agreement on sanitary copper tube cartel claims.

In 2012 Outokumpu was served with a damages contribution claim in the English court by IMI (IMI Plc and IMI Kynoch Ltd) and Boliden AB, after Boliden AB and IMI were served claims for financial loss by members of the Travis Perkins Group. These claims related to a 2004 ruling by the European Commission which concluded that a number of companies were involved in price fixing and market sharing in the sanitary copper tube sector in Europe between June 1988 and March 2001.

Outokumpu considered the claim for damages in the English court proceedings to lack merit, but has decided to contribute to the settlement in order to bring this matter to an end.

Says Head of Corporate Affairs and Compliance Kimmo Karihtala: “We consider this settlement to be justified, as it is in our best interest to avoid further expense, inconvenience and burden of continuing litigation, and to get a final resolution in all claims in relation to sanitary copper tube cartel.”

In addition to Outokumpu the settlement covers also all former Outokumpu subsidiaries included in the claims. The settlement amount is not significant, and it will be booked as a non-recurring item in the third quarter 2014 results.

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Fine Tubes (www.finetubes.com), a leading global supplier of precision tube products, can announce its additional NORSOK approval, enabling the company to supply UNS S31254 seamless tubes across a comprehensive range of tube dimensions.

  • Fine Tubes has received additional NORSOK approval to supply UNS S31254 seamless tubes as endorsed by Parker Hannifin and Statoil.
  • The company has also achieved a place on the Statoil TR2000 approved supplier list.

Chris Burridge, Customer Quality Engineer for Fine Tubes, commented: "The approval process allowed us to take a closer look at our manufacturing activities for this particular product line and refine them to meet with the requirements of NORSOK M-650.”

statoil pic

Fine Tubes secured this additional approval by aligning its manufacturing process with NORSOK M-650 requirements, and providing compliance through an audit undertaken by Parker Hannifin and Statoil. The new supply approval was made possible through a frame agreement with these two industry-leading companies, and adds Fine Tubes to the Statoil TR2000 approved suppliers list.

Mr Burridge continued: “Having a place on the Statoil TR2000 approved supplier list will open up new opportunities that have been unavailable to us to date and will allow us to be more competitive in a fast growing market. The experience we have gained throughout the process will prove invaluable in our future approval endeavours of other product lines, such as S32750 Super Duplex.”

NORSOK M-650 is among the oil and gas industry’s most demanding quality standards for manufacturing equipment, processes and testing.


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Fine Tubes, a leading manufacturer and global distributor of precision tubes for critical applications, is delighted to announce that it has been selected to supply specialist tubing for the Chemical Propulsion System (CPS) of the highly anticipated Solar Orbiter project. Contracted by OHB Sweden, Fine Tubes will be manufacturing over 100m of titanium tubing Grade 2 AMS 4942 with an outer diameter of 3.17mm and an inner diameter of 2.66mm.

Solar Orbiter is a European Space Agency (ESA) project that will investigate how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, its extended atmosphere. The contract to build the satellite has been awarded to Astrium UK who will lead a team of suppliers, including OHB Sweden, and NASA will provide the launcher and contribute instruments to the scientific payload. The scientific mission will be co-ordinated with NASA's Solar Probe Plus to maximise the combined science return.

Due for launch in 2017, Solar Orbiter will fly to within 45 million kilometres of the Sun, closer than Mercury, and will image the solar poles for the first time, helping to explain how the Sun generates its magnetic field. The Orbiter will experience levels of sunlight thirteen times higher than satellites orbiting the Earth and will also need to endure powerful bursts of atomic particles from explosions in the solar atmosphere.

These high-energy bursts (Coronal Mass Ejections) can disrupt satellite communications and electrical power distribution systems as well as causing computers to crash. The data provided by Solar Orbiter will, it is hoped, enable scientists to better understand how these violent and disruptive phenomena are caused.

Paul Mallet, Aerospace Business Development Manager at Fine Tubes commented: “The challenging environment in which these tubes must operate necessitates traditional manufacturing processes be improved to meet the demanding technical requirements. At Fine Tubes we are proud of our flexibility in adapting to new specification requirements and of our role in enabling such exciting projects to take place.”

astrium opt

On its journey to the Sun, Solar Orbiter will use gravity assists from Venus and Earth in a series of complex manoeuvres that will depend on the craft’s Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) and the CPS for which Fine Tubes is supplying the tubing. The craft will be propelled into a 168 day-long orbit around the Sun along which it will reach its closest point to the star every five months. At its highest speed, it will be in an almost stationary orbit, allowing unprecedented observations to be made.

Steve Ashton, Product Assurance Manager at OHB-Sweden added:“OHB Sweden, a subsidiary of the European space and technology group OHB, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Astrium as contractor for the Chemical Propulsion System (CPS) for the Solar Orbiter mission, planned to be launched in 2017. The satellite will perform close-up observations of the Sun, and during its 7 year mission, will experience levels of sunlight thirteen times higher than satellites orbiting the Earth.  Fine Tubes were selected as supplier for the high quality seamless titanium tubing required to fulfil the exacting requirements of high quality and cleanliness levels needed for the Chemical Propulsion System."

Solar Orbiter continues a long tradition of European Sun explorers, including Helios 1 and 2, Ulysses, and SOHO, all developed in partnership with NASA, as well as ESA's PROBA-2.

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arc logoArcelorMittal and Bekaert are investing in a Dramix® steel fibre plant in Costa Rica, as part of an agreement announced in December 2013 between ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, and Bekaert, global market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coatings. Having worked together in the region since 1975, the companies have reached a zero-cash agreement involving the mutual exchange of shares in Brazil, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

In Brazil, ArcelorMittal is transferring a 55% stake in its Belgo Bekaert Arames (BBA) ropes plant in Osasco (São Paulo state) to the Bekaert group. Bekaert Cimaf Cabos Ltda will now be wholly owned by Bekaert, while BBA will continue to supply rope wires as semi-finished products. This transaction does not change ArcelorMittal’s control of the shareholding structure of BBA, a partnership established with Bekaert in Brazil in 1997.

In Costa Rica, where ArcelorMittal is the market leader with a production of 370,000 tonnes per year of long carbon steel for the construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries, the agreement involves the drawn wires business. It excludes the company’s steel production business (100% controlled by ArcelorMittal). In the drawn wires segment, the respective shareholding will be 27% (ArcelorMittal) and 73% (Bekaert), including the existing steel wire plant and a new Dramix® steel fibres plant which will start production in the second quarter of 2014. Initial batches will use wire rod produced by ArcelorMittal Monlevade, in Minas Gerais state (Brazil), and later on by ArcelorMittal Point Lisas (Trinidad & Tobago), strengthening downstream operations and increasing the company’s competitiveness in the region. 

In Ecuador, ArcelorMittal will take a 27% participation in Ideal Alambrec, a steel wire business controlled by Bekaert. ArcelorMittal’s presence in Ecuador, through this joint venture, willcreate a new market for the company in the region. 

“This new business configuration in Latin America opens up new opportunities to Bekaert and ArcelorMittal”, said Augusto Espeschit de Almeida, CEO of Belgo Bekaert Arames (BBA), a partnership between the groups in Brazil and controlled by ArcelorMittal.

About Dramix®

Dramix® steel fibres are produced from drawn steel wire, using wire rod as raw material. They are sold in several lengths and diameters, and they can be sold as bonded or loose fibres, depending on the application. Dramix® is a Bekaert-designed and patented steel fibre. These fibres are used to reinforce concrete in combination or by fully replacing the traditional steel frame in industrial floors and pavements, radiers, slope and tunnel lining (shotcrete, segment rings and refractories). Dramix® steel fibres can also be used in compression layers for precast slabs.

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Viohalco SA/NV is pleased to has announce that it has published its annual report for the year 2013. Such report is available on the website of the company www.viohalco.com 

Viohalco SA/NV is the parent company of theViohalco Group and holds participations in approximately 90 companies, seven of which are listed on the Athens Exchange. With production facilities in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, FYROM and the United Kingdom, where about 8,000 personnel is employed, the Group’s subsidiaries specialise in the manufacture of steel & steel pipes, copper & cables, and aluminium products, generating an annual revenue of euro 2.9 billion. In addition, the Group owns substantial real estate properties in Greece and has redeveloped some of its properties as real estate development projects.

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Fine Tubes, a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of precision tubes for critical applications, is delighted to announce that it has appointed Bait Al-Aseel to act as its agent in Kuwait.

sign fine tubes

The decision forms part of Fine Tubes’ strategic plan to secure further growth in the market for exotic alloy tubing across the Middle East region. Demand for this type of tubing continues to increase in line with greater operating demands matched by a desire for an extended service life that traditional alloys are unable to achieve.

Bait Al-Aseel is a long-established and highly regarded contractor servicing the power and energy industries in Kuwait. Its prestigious client list includes Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water.

Nick Head, Fine Tubes’ Business Development Manager for Oil & Gas/Chemical Processes, commented: “The appointment of Bait Al Aseel is an important one for us and represents a significant addition to the agent partnerships we already have in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Oman.  We’re looking forward to working closely with them to develop new opportunities in this key market.”

Faisal Al Shayeji, Bait Al Aseel’s General Manager, commented: “Fine Tubes’ expertise in manufacturing specialist corrosion resistant alloys matches the rising demand for exotic alloy tubing in Kuwait. We are excited to be representing a company capable of manufacturing this extensive range of alloys and working with the Fine Tubes sales team to acquire new business in the region.”

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2014-04-11 104011The new ferritic steel grade VM12-SHC developed by Vallourec has been certificated by ASME (Code Case 2781). It has already been used successfully for many years in European design for modern high temperature power plants and heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) and can now be used for all ASME design. In addition, the product is optimally suited for replacing grade X20CrMoV11-1 superheater pipes in existing power plants. VM12-SHC extends Vallourec's range of ferritic seamless steel tubes for power plants. At the same time, it underpins Vallourec's claim to technological leadership in an application area characterized by extremely high quality demands.

The last three letters of “VM12-SHC” refer to one of the new steel's key properties. Standing for "super high corrosion resistant", they qualify tubes made from this grade for extremely corrosive steam-carrying pipes for high-temperature applications up to 620 °C. The steel's special chemical composition puts it in a performance class unparalleled in its category in terms of creep strength and resistance to steam oxidation.

Outstanding material properties

The ASME certification procedures provided an ideal opportunity for new VM12-SHC to demonstrate its extraordinary behavior under the obligatory tests and checks. As shown by the test results, the steel combines excellent mechanical and physical properties with an oxidation resistance comparable to that of the austenitic steel grade TP347FG and surpassing those of steel grades T91 and T92 by far.

Proven in tests and demanding power plant applications

One of the most important criteria relevant to a material's suitability for a given application is its processing behavior, notably in terms of cold bending properties and weldability. Here too, VM12-SHC passed all the standardized tests (e.g. creep tests, creep rupture tests on tube bends and stress crack detection after welding) with flying colors. Practical experience was already generated on the basis of applications in state-of-the-art coal-fired and combined-cycle power plants in European design.

VM12-SHC is produced at European Vallourec locations. Tubes in the new steel grade are available heat-treated and with wall thicknesses of up to 12 mm.

See the VM12-SHC movie on below also you can download the datasheet from link provided below

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As car transmission systems become more complex, with higher numbers of gears, there is more of a premium on the package space required for these systems. Designers want to specify cleaner steels to create stronger parts able to handle high loads without additional weight or reduction in fatigue life, while machinists require steels with excellent machinability for ease of manufacture.

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Tata Steel’s Automotive team is attending wire 2014 this week to demonstrate how a new test they have developed with the University of Sheffield will allow the steel supplier to compare different steel chemistries, and prove how they can offer the optimum balance between performance and ease of processing for forgers, machinists and OEMs.

Good machinability is an essential factor for manufacturers, because it allows production rates to increase while maintaining good chip control, surface finish and dimensional stability. Chip control refers to the form in which the excess material is generated when machining steel. Small chips are better than longer ones, as they are less likely to clog machines, avoiding costly machine stops to clear entangled swarf.

In order to properly compare the machinability of different steel chemistries in action, Tata Steel’s Swinden Technology Centre has worked with the University of Sheffield to develop a bespoke machinability test that replicates features of the hobbing process – the machining process for gear cutting which cuts the ‘teeth’ out of the forged blanks. The test allows steels with different machinability-enhancing elements to be compared, without the need to procure expensive gear hobbing tools or access to specialist hobbing machines.

Designing gear steels requires a careful balance to combine ease of machinability with high fatigue strength – the length of time a product can function for under cyclic loading before failing. Tata Steel has worked with its supply chain partners to develop a suite of clean gear steels that offer the best of both. Adding controlled quantities of key elements can enhance machinability, but has a negative impact on fatigue performance. Adding sulphur to the steel reduces the shear stress needed to create small chips. Other additions such as calcium can be used to encourage the formation of protective layers on cutting tools that reduce tool wear rates. The addition of bismuth and tellurium contributes to reduced cutting forces and lower tool wear, offering an improved surface finish and – again – smaller chips.

Tata-Steel gear opt

The new test compares machinability under interrupted cutting conditions at speeds similar to those experienced in production hobbing operations. The University of Sheffield designed cutting tools with geometries similar to those used in hobbing, and is developing a rapid data-logging system for tool force measurement.

Tata Steel’s business development manager for Speciality Steels, Andrew Woods, said: “Weight and space are at a premium on any vehicle, and the design of gear steels is a particularly complex challenge due to the duty cycle these parts endure. But by working closely with our customers, we are developing products which address the differing needs of weight saving, fatigue life, strength and machinability.

“This new test offers our customers a further means of saving time, money and effort, by allowing them to understand how any given material will act in service, something that would be difficult and costly for them to do themselves.”

Dr Tom Slatter, lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield said: “Collaborating with Tata Steel has allowed us to apply our machining science expertise in producing a test that has real industrial impact.”

Monday, 10 February 2014 11:00

Inconel Alloy 625: The Super Alloy

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Seldom does an alloy become a standard material of construction in a wide variety of industrial applications. Inconel Alloy 625 is, however, such an alloy. Jan Ward, CEO of Hampshire-based nickel alloy specialist, Corrotherm, explains its form and uses.

Ever since its introduction to the market in the early 1960s, Inconel Alloy 625 has proven to be a valuable and versatile material that is able to solve a wide variety of design and application problems.

The alloy has the ability to resist low temperature aggressive corrosion environments, as well as hostile high temperature environments, and performs with a high level of strength that has enabled it to be specified frequently in a cross section of industries.

The original goal for the application of Inconel Alloy 625 was for main steam-line piping. Since then, it has been used extensively in a variety of industries including, aerospace, chemical processing, marine and pulp & paper.

As an indication of its versatility, slight modifications in composition and mill practice have dramatically increased the fatigue life of thin sheet, thereby increasing the design capabilities in critical turbine components.

The excellent weldability of the alloy, and its ability to be joined very successfully to other alloys with different compositions, has also led to the use of Inconel Alloy 625 filler metals for welding dissimilar materials.

The latest developments have led to Inconel Alloy 625 being used as weld overlaid or co-extruded product for superheater tubing and is playing a major role in the worldwide growth of Municipal Waste To Energy and bio fuel production.

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