The Vallourec group is the leading manufacturer of seamless hot-rolled steel tubes, with manufacturing plants in Europe, Brazil, the USA and China. The new Vallourec research center in Riesa (Germany) employs experts in the fields of metallurgy, materials testing, steam oxidation, and product simulation. The experts have access to state-of-the-art technical equipment, comprising amongst others a scanning electron microscope and, at present, 26 Messphysik Kappa 50 LA creep testing machines. In mid-2013 the laboratory has been extended by further 34 additional lever-arm creep testing machines.
The initial delivery of 26 lever-arm creep testing machines to temporary accommodation at the Düsseldorf-Rath (Germany) site enabled Vallourec to perform creep tests, creep rupture tests, relaxation tests and load/temperature block tests. Ultimately, the research center would on completion be equipped with one single machine type – the Kappa 50 lever-arm creep testing machine. The furnaces incorporated into the creep testing machines allowed testing in a range from room temperature to 900°C, enabling the research center to carry out mid to long-term product development projects for power station technology in the temperature range of 700°C.
With the transfer of the 26 creep testing machines from the temporary accommodation to the new building and the installation of additional 34 lever-arm testing machines in mid-2013, a major benefit of the collaboration of Vallourec with Messphysik became apparent: the efficient operation of 60 testing machines via a simple automatic high-temperature control with automatic algorithm for target temperature, temperature dwell time and temperature blocks. The large volume of data from the simultaneous operation of 60 creep testing machines is made manageable thanks to user-friendly software and a sophisticated data-protection concept. While working with Vallourec in recent months and during the fitting out of the Vallourec research center Germany, Messphysik has proved itself to be a flexible and dependable partner.
Dr. André Schneider, who is responsible for the development of the research center and is a recognized expert in the field of materials technology, states that Vallourec will be able to enhance its presence in the technical world via the product and material-oriented research and promote the exchange of information between industry, academia and research institutes.