MRO Magazine

NRC helps Timken with development of laser guaging system for steel tubing

Ottawa, ON -- Apr. 17, 2002 -- The Timken Company plans to make laser ultrasonic technology commercially available...


Industry

April 17, 2002
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — Apr. 17, 2002 — The Timken Company plans to make laser ultrasonic technology commercially available to steel manufacturers. The technology, a gauging system that enables more efficient manufacturing of seamless steel tubing, successfully completed a rigorous testing period at the company’s Gambrinus Steel Plant.

Timken, in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, began development of the system in March of 1999.

The laser-based measuring system helps ensure that steel tubes are produced with a more uniform wall, reducing the need for removing excess material from the tube wall. “The capabilities of this laser ultrasonic system extend far beyond those of previous radiation gauging techniques,” said Raymond V. Fryan, director, process improvement – alloy steel. “Most importantly, measuring the full- length of the tube during manufacturing not only verifies quality of the entire tube, it also reduces mill downtime by significantly reducing the need for sampling.”

The company was awarded a $1.4-million grant in June of 1999 from the United States Department of Energy for the development of laser ultrasonic technology. The Department of Energy has funded 60 per cent of the total project cost, now projected at $3.1 million. “Development of this process enabled us to enhance our product consistency while giving us a innovative product to market commercially,” Fryan said.

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By Bill Roebuck, Editor