NSSMC Receives 2 prizes from the Okochi Memorial Foundation 59th session (2012)

Feb. 12, 2013

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

NSSMC Receives 2 prizes from the Okochi Memorial Foundation 59th session (2012)

It was announced that Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC; Chairman & CEO - Mr. Shoji Muneoka) will receive on March 22nd, 2013 two prizes from the Okochi Memorial Foundation 59th session (2012)

Commemorating the late Dr. Masatoshi Okochi's achievements, the Okochi Memorial Foundation presents prestigious prizes to remarkable contributions in production engineering and implementation of sophisticated production technologies in Japan.
The two achievements having received these awards are summarized below.

1. Development of high-alloy seamless OCTG and their manufacturing technologies that enable production increase of natural gas

Exploration for new hydrocarbon reserves requires searching deeper reservoirs with the consequences of having to deal with higher pressures, temperatures and corrosive conditions. The development of these types of reservoirs requires usage of high value high-alloy seamless oil country tubular goods (OCTG) that contain large amounts of noble elements such as chromium and nickel.
In order to meet the worldwide growth in energy demand commensurate with the recent economic growth of emerging countries, OCTG mass-production technology as well as the development of OCTG material which safely withstand the specific constraints of ultra-deep gas developments have been required. NSSMC overcame these challenges through the development of the following technologies:

1) Development of mass-production technology for small to medium-sized (Outside Diameter : OD ≤ 7”) high-alloy OCTG
For molten metal casting, NSSMC developed a mold flux technology which enables usage of continuous casting instead of ingot casting. This upgrade combined with manufacturing efficiency improvements for the hot extrusion process has allowed NSSMC to expand its high alloy production capacity about 7 times higher than that of early '90 thus retaining world leadership in this segment.

2) Development of manufacturing technology for large-diameter (OD > 7”) high-alloy OCTG
Until recently it was impossible to apply the conventional pipe rolling process, which offers little restriction for either the size or the length of the finished pipe, to high-alloy materials manufacturing. NSSMC has developed the world’s first 3D numerical analysis model for rotary piercing enabling the optimization of a rolling technology for high-alloy materials. Thus, the world’s first mass-production technology for large-diameter, high-alloy OCTG was established.

3) Development of ultra high strength high-alloy OCTG (140ksi grade of yield strength) for deep gas well development
Ultra high strength high-alloy OCTG (140ksi grade) meant for high-pressure, high-temperature gas well development applications has been developed by raising the nitrogen content to strengthen the material. In addition, rare earth micro alloying resulted in enhancing the corrosion resistance, as well as improving the hot workability. Shipments of such OCTG have already begun.

 High-alloy seamless OCTG for critical applications.

2. Innovative new coke-making technology for expanding raw coal resources and saving energy (SCOPE21)

(Received award jointly with JFE Steel Corporation, Kobe Steel Ltd., Nisshin Steel Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)
Coke used in steelmaking needs strength to bear the weight of iron ore, in order to ensure gas permeability within a blast furnace, in addition to the function of reducing iron ore. This means that coal used for producing high strength coke has to be high-grade. However, production of high-grade coal is limited and it is relatively expensive. To maintain the steelmaking industry’s international competitiveness, development of technologies that enable manufacturing of superior coke while promoting maximum use of low-grade coal have been demanded. NSSMC developed such technology through its joint participation in a national project named “SCOPE 21 - Next Generation Coke Making Technology” with other companies that own coke ovens.
Coke’s strength decreases as the ratio of low-grade, low-caking coal is raised. However, thanks to research on the mechanism that manifests the coke strength, coupled with simulation of the coal pretreatment process, this dilemma has been solved. It has been found that coke strength remains satisfactory, even if the ratio of low-grade coal is raised, when coal materials are separated into fine coal and coarse coal, and both the hot briquetted fine coal and the coarse coal that goes through the rapid preheating process are charged into a coke oven.

In 2008, NSSMC’s Oita Works introduced the first new type of coke oven that uses this technology in the world. The ratio of low-grade coke has been steadily raised to around 57%.  NSSMC is currently introducing a second coke oven at its Nagoya Works.

 Oita Works’ new type of coke oven

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