TimkenSteel, a manufacturer in customized alloy steel products and services, announced Thursday that it has developed a new process to manufacture high-pressure tubing (HPT) for use in the production of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).
TimkenSteel recently accepted its first order of HPT for a major petrochemical producer. Over the last decade, HPT for LDPE environments has had extended supply chains that created long lead times for North American customers.
"We have developed a more streamlined process using the assets and operations we have in place to create cost efficiencies. HPT that previously took more than a year to produce now takes a matter of months," said Shawn Seanor, TimkenSteel's executive vice president of sales and business development. "Another advantage our process offers is flexibility, allowing customers to buy smaller lot sizes."
TimkenSteel's process begins in Canton where its special bar quality (SBQ) steel is forged-rolled and heat treated. It is then sent to TimkenSteel Material Services in Houston where it is bored and honed. TimkenSteel recently entered into a supply agreement with A&A Machine & Fabrication, LLC, of La Marque, Texas, to further process, market and sell HPT for LDPE customers. A&A completed reliability testing to ASME code on prototype tubing and processed that material to industry fabrication requirements in order to illustrate material performance. A&A and TimkenSteel then met with end-users to gain market acceptance of the material.
"HPT users will be able to plan projects with a more accurate forecast due to the shorter lead times and ease of inspection and oversight of the manufacturing process," said C. Alan Hutchins, President and CEO of A&A.