RUSNANO and TMK Launch Precision Tube Project
RUSNANO and steel pipe producer TMK have begun a project to expand production of precision tubes of stainless steel and alloys. The tubes will be manufactured at TMK’s Sinarsky Pipe Plant. The project has a total budget of 3.75 billion rubles of which RUSNANO will invest 1.3 billion rubles. Participants have already created a new company, TMK-INOX, to realize the project.
The new project will use highly technological and effective methods in its manufacturing. The tubes will have improved consumer properties, particularly wear resistance and imperviousness to harsh environments, through the modification of the structure of steel and alloys at the nanolevel. The ability to manage deformation and temperature parameters precisely during processing will make it possible to form crystal lattice of metal nanostructures. That, too, will give the tubes new, useful attributes and expand their efficacy.
TMK-INOX will introduce at the plant a new generation cold rolling mill, new methods of deformation, and a new metal-working lubricant. These will endow the steel with durable, ultrathin separation layers and improve their operation under conditions where contact stress and plastic deformation are high. By using ultrapure hydrogen during heat treatment—the hydrogen is obtained with nanostructured zeolite—the process will maintain the exacting characteristics of the steel while reducing the number of production stages. The new manufacturing methods will yield better precision tubes (greater durability, plasticity and corrosion resistance, finer geometric specifications, and superior surface) with lower manufacturing costs.
Project management intends to more than double production for the stainless steel precision tubes from the existing level, bringing volume to 7,000 tons per year by 2015.
“Thanks to advances in basic characteristics of the tubes, we expect the products manufactured under this project to have wide application in the energy and nuclear power complexes and in the machine-building, aviation, and space industries. The tubes meet the highest domestic and foreign standards. We foresee replacing a significant portion of imports in the Russian market and entering the global market with our products,” remarked Georgiy Kolpachev, RUSNANO managing director, and chairman of the Board of Directors of TMK-INOX.