HIP technology factor

Materials World magazine
4 Jun 2014

A Hot Isostatic Pressing of Materials for Offshore Energy Applications event, held in Aberdeen, UK, looked at recent developments in the field. Here are some of the highlights.

The one-day event on hot isostatic pressing (HIP) brought together experts from industry and academia. It was an opportunity for end users from the oil and gas industry and powders, consumables and engineering services, as well as other end user communities, to capture developments in the field of HIP for offshore energy applications.

Ensuring product capability and reliability in extreme environments is an ongoing challenge for performance engineering industries. These can range from high temperatures and pressures in turbines through to seabed oil and gas applications, involving combinations of temperature, pressure, friction, wear, corrosion, stress and impact conditions.

The first two presentations were dedicated to extending product performance. Of particular focus were application areas where improved microstructures (fine-grained and isotropic) achieved through the process cycle and heat treatment regimes can increase performance and service life of components, and offer net shape versatility in the form of complex geometries with the most effective material use from powders.

Bring the heat
Tomas Berglund of Sandvik, in Sweden, gave examples of global end-user projects. He was followed by Johan Harne of Avure Technologies, also based in Sweden, who gave a HIP equipment supplier’s perspective. Harne primarily focused on improved heat treatment regimes that can be integrated in the equipment as part of the HIP process, to create structures with superior mechanical properties that would not only offer enhanced performance but would not have been readily obtainable conventionally. Karin Jakobsson of Erasteel examined the influence of stainless steel powder characteristics on mechanical and corrosion properties of HIP near net shape parts for oil and gas applications.

After a brief networking session, Sean Fewell of TWI, UK, spoke on professional training considerations and competencies for organisations involved in oil and gas operations. Fewell’s stimulating talk helped raise awareness of the importance of developing a work culture based on welltrained and competent individuals for the benefit of high-quality products, processes and services.

This was followed by a presentation from Particulate Engineering Committee (PEC) Chair Dr Cem Selcuk on non-destructive testing for net shape applications and approaches that can be implemented for online quality control in manufacturing environments. Examples included the use of digital radiography for avoiding rejected parts and failure while in use, and possibly guided wave ultrasonics (UT), depending on the size of the components, since HIP parts have been considered to be highly receptive to UT in light of their fine-grained, homogeneous microstructures. The next session involved an introduction to the National Structural Integrity Research Centre – the UK’s first industry-led postgraduate development centre in Cambridge, driven by Brunel University and TWI to generate qualified personnel and address the skills shortage.

Additive manufacturing
The afternoon sessions kicked off with a presentation from Barry Burdett on the HIP facility programme at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham, UK, with examples of microstructural features and some historic work that can be referred to when developing HIP. Paul Goodwin of Laser Cladding Technologies, UK, then took a different direction, moving away from HIP process to additive manufacturing for the offshore oil and gas industry. Goodwin gave a comprehensive technology update of the developments and key considerations in the offshore market. The increasing number of applications has led to a growing market for repair of components, for instance, and new areas of development such as 3D forming and potential solutions where particulate materials can play a key role in extending the life of engineering structures.

Daniel Brooks of Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, UK, gave an overview of powder HIP and the drive towards net shape components. Brooks looked at adaptive machining for the HIP process plus the latest in equipment acquisition at the Centre. The launch of a new additive manufacturing centre in the Midlands to support this technology was also announced on the day, as well as similar events being held in the rest of Europe later in the year. All of which illustrated further just how fast the HIP sector is evolving.

More from IOM3
This event was organised by the IOM3 Particulate Engineering Committee. For the full list of speakers and more information on the PEC, visit www.iom3.org/particulate-engineering