Sandvik Powdermet AB

Showing its metal

Having changed ownership from Metso to the Sandvik Group in 2007, Sandvik Powdermet is a world leading company focusing on the production and supply of hot isostatic processed powder metallurgy components.

As part of the Sandvik Materials Technology division of the Group, which is a global developer of advanced alloys and ceramic materials, the company benefits from massive R&D and innovation activities. The Group is a well-established engineering organisation that is known the world over for advanced products and prominent positions in a range of industries. Its influence is felt across 130 countries, generating sales in excess of 72,000 billion Swedish Krone. Sandvik Powdermet has a plethora of experience in the deliverance of Powder Metallurgy (PM), Hot Isostatic Processed (HIP), and Near Net Shaped (NNS) components ranging from 100 grammes to 15 tonnes in high alloyed steel, stainless steel, Ni and Co base alloys and Metal Matrix Composites (MMC).

Speaking to European Oil and Gas Magazine in 2007 about the takeover, Carl-Gustaf Hjorth, president of Sandvik Powdermet commented: “This was a good move because, although we had a good situation within Metso, we were drifting away from its core business. As a member of Sandvik Materials Technology, we’re in the centre of its core business and are of strategic importance for development within the oil and gas sector. For the coming years we’re looking into conversions as our clients are likely to change from old to new technology, which means there will not only be the normal expansion due to the market situation but expansion due to conversion as well. We’re also looking more into general engineering and medical areas as well.”

Since then, the company has been highly successful and experienced a record year in 2008 for both volume and profitability. The oil and gas industry has remained the core area of focus and applications for this market have shown the most increase in demand, though the civil engineering and power generation arenas have also grown in importance. Sandvik Powdermet has also entered into the South American market, while the US and Mexico are showing future potential. Carl-Gustaf explains the company’s current position: “We have employed a lot more people since we last spoke. We have formed a management team that employs, in total, over 20 highly knowledgeable individuals and have created an R&D group within the wider Sandvik organisation that is concentrating on developing powder technology to meet a range of market needs. Utilising the Sandvik Group global network means we are able to reach new market areas such as the Far East, Australia and into South America. Our main customers are still key equipment manufacturers and big contractors.”

Sandvik Powdermet directs a great deal of its innovative solutions at those working on subsea or FPSO installations, especially in regards to requirements for components such as manifolds, pumps casings, special fittings and pieces for three-phase fluid measuring devices. In addition, the company is involved in anything that can be part of a subsea valve or subsea manifold installation. The organisation’s greatest selling point is in its cutting-edge powder technology (HIP), which has the power to cure the phenomenon known as Hydrogen Induced Stressed Corrosion Cracking (HISC), which is a problem in some subsea installations. HIP has advantages over conventional castings and forgings that can be affect by hydrogen forming and penetrating materials, this innovation is a very fine microstructure powder material that means hydrogen will only touch the surface, causing minimal harm.

In 2007, Carl-Gustaf outlined this development as Sandvik Powdermet’s greatest strength: “We are incredibly flexible, our PM/HIP technology means we can provide solutions without the need for welding and for reduced machining, we can design components into one piece instead of three. One of the beautiful aspects of our business is that we can easily design a customised product and we are building long-term relationships with clients so that they can learn about our HIP technology by getting better acquainted with it.”

Currently Sandvik Powdermet is involved in the deliverance of components for a major project in West Africa and investigations are taking place into a contract in the Gulf of Mexico, while the very deep subsea installations of Brazil are proving to be of great interest. The company’s expansion into such diverse regions means that its portfolio is developing to cope with more demanding and harsher environments. Combinations of components that have higher mechanical strengths and are corrosion resistance by use of alternative powder grades are becoming a mainstay of the company – this tailor-made provision will ensure its leading position across budding markets.

Looking to the future, Carl-Gustaf highlights his vision: “We have great plans for the future and the oil and gas industry will be a central part of that for the coming five years. We want to follow market needs as well as technical and geographical needs. We may not be building new production facilities in these new areas of growth, but we will concentrate on the reassurance that we have full capacity to supply our clients with our expert PM and HIC components.”

Sandvik  Powdermet AB

Services Powder metallurgy and  complementary technologies