ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products produces a wide range of steel plates including grades with the most demanding qualities for offshore applications in the energy sector. With the ongoing improvements at ArcelorMittal Gijon (Spain), our offer to the offshore wind and oil gas markets is set to expand with new feasibilities and the development of new grades. And ArcelorMittal’s service level to customers and product development cycle will also improve thanks to a closer partnership between ArcelorMittal Projects Energy, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, and Global R&D.
ArcelorMittal’s goal is to offer the most comprehensive range of plates for the offshore energy market. The steel plates we produce are typically utilised in the sub-sea and visible parts of offshore wind turbines, and oil and gas platforms.
ArcelorMittal plates are used in the topside and sub-sea parts of oil and gas platforms and offshore wind towers [Image © curraheeshutter / shutterstock.com]
The offshore plate grades produced by ArcelorMittal meet all relevant European (EN10225) and North American (API2W) standards. They are already utilised by leading manufacturers of offshore wind and oil and gas infrastructure. These facilities are operated by major energy producers around the world.
Two of the most common grades used in these segments are S355 M/ML and S355 G10+M in thicknesses ranging from 40 to 70 mm. The ‘M’ in the grade name indicates that the steel has been thermo-mechanically rolled. The process changes the properties of the steel and makes it suitable for use in applications where high strength and excellent toughness at low temperatures are required. That includes a variety of offshore applications such as the topsides of oil and gas platforms, offshore wind substations, and the subsea ‘jackets’ which serve as foundations for offshore structures.
One of the key features of ArcelorMittal’s offshore plate offer is its enhanced weldability. This ensures the steel can be welded without affecting its high strength or excellent toughness.
Plates for the offshore energy market are produced at ArcelorMittal’s mills in Gijon (Spain) [Image © ArcelorMittal]
Investments are ongoing in Gijon to expand ArcelorMittal’s offer for offshore energy. The goal is to produce grades for offshore applications in thicknesses over 50 mm. Improvements have already begun and some of the new feasibilities are expected to become available during 2020.
On the service side, ArcelorMittal has established a working group including representatives from ArcelorMittal Projects, Flat Products, and Global R&D. The group aims to qualify ArcelorMittal’s plate mills with more of the world’s major wind energy and oil and gas producers. Another task for the group will be to gain welding prequalification for our thicker plates in accordance with European (EN10225 and NORSOK M-120) and American (API RP2Z) standards. As the group works closely with customers through co-engineering projects, it also recommends topics for research and development to anticipate future market requirements and meet new customer needs.
Research and development for offshore applications is carried out by the ArcelorMittal Global R&D Centre in Gent (Belgium). The R&D Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art tools and facilities including a five-wire submerged arc welder, heavy-duty fatigue setups, and unique metal processing equipment. This enables ArcelorMittal to test plates, tubes, and pipes to support new product development. ArcelorMittal Global R&D Gent also provides technical assistance to ArcelorMittal’s customers through co-engineering projects on topics such as lightweight design, fatigue improvement, and optimisation of welding processes. The research centre is a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and the Flemish Region.
ArcelorMittal Global R&D Gent has a unique set of testing equipment to for offshore applications [Image © ArcelorMittal]
A key concern for offshore customers is corrosion. ArcelorMittal Global R&D is constantly developing new products which make offshore structures lighter, and reduce operational costs by improving corrosion resistance. To ensure their suitability for marine applications, these steels typically undergo field trials in harsh, real-world environments.
Testing components for offshore wind foundations at ArcelorMittal Global R&D Gent [Image © ArcelorMittal]
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