Research and Development
Bonds’ scientific and technical approach ensures we continue to innovate and find new practices, techniques and combinations of materials. Our focus is on applying our research and development to actual field requirements so our customers get the practical benefits.
Expert systems and processes
Meeting precise customer specifications and improving our castings and processes are critical to our success.We use the latest Magmasoft simulation software to predict the solidification of alloys and mould filling. This allows us to improve the production process and the quality of the final casting. We check the quantitative analyses using our on-site spectrometers.
Need strength and corrosion resistance?
Trevor Machin, Bonds Group Technical Director, reveals the secrets of making duplex work under demanding conditions.
Innovation and collaboration
We invest in reviewing existing processes to see how they could be enhanced. By developing new ideas and opportunities, we work to improve chemical control and heat treatment to deliver castings which are stronger, more reliable, and more resistant to impact and corrosion.
Bonds are currently working in collaboration with Northumbria University to focus on engineering and metallurgical solutions. We will be investing in students who will be working at Bonds on project-based R&D. We will also make use of university facilities to research:
- Surface finish improvements and consistency
- Failure investigations
These innovations in materials science aim to bring about developments in both materials and processes.
Innovation in practice: developing a new product and process
Flowserve Coslada required large 25% Cr duplex open impellers with high resistance to sea-water corrosion. Cesar Fernandez Alonso explained:
”Bonds were awarded the Rabbigh II project for the manufacture of open impellers in cast duplex stainless steel ASTM A890 grade 5A. The castings wil be used on the RPP2 project having a nominal plant net output of 2400 MW, utilizing four conventional oil fired thermal generating units each producing a new electrical output of 600-650MW."
The challenge? We needed to develop a new product and a new process to cast it.
In order to meet their needs, we conducted extensive research on how grain refinement in duplex alloys could give the excellent mechanical and physical material properties they required. The data indicated the casting technology we needed to produce open impellers in a size that would be dimensionally-challenging.
We focused our process innovations on the metallurgical behaviour of 25% Cr duplex. The micro structure required to impart high Young’s modulus without any adverse effects on impact and corrosion resistance.
The combination of unique steel-making interactions and process metallurgy provided consistent results. The benefits included:
- Increased strength
- Excellent low temperature fracture toughness
- Dimensional stability
- Excellent resistance to cracking, pitting and stress corrosion
- Consistent casting quality
By interrogating the process for large, open impeller production in duplex grade, we were able to achieve the technical breakthrough needed to complete the project successfully. We met periodically with the customer and supplied technical updates so they had an understanding of the project and confidence in the final product.
"Bonds technically executed the project having expertise and knowledge of manufacturing duplex and super duplex stainless steels. The working relationship between our two companies ensured successful project management coupled with delivering a high quality project. We look forward to working with Bonds on future projects of this type and devleloping complex alloys with challenging casting designs." Cesar Fernandez Alonso