TMK Ipsco broke ground on a new 51,000-square-foot research and development center in Houston, Texas. The state-of-the-art facility will serve as the heart of the company’s innovation initiatives – new product design and development, experimental and validation testing, and advanced metallurgical research. It will serve TMK Ipsco as well as the global operations of its parent company, Moscow-based OAO TMK. The R&D center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011, will bring in-house much of the analysis, modeling and testing work that is currently performed by outside providers.
The building will feature a high bay testing area, a variety of support laboratories and 27,000 square feet of office space. Two high-tech connection testers rated at 4 million pounds and 2 million pounds of tension, respectively, will be among the key pieces of equipment installed at the new research center. Other key equipment will include a scanning electron microscope, a collapse tester, tensile and fatigue testers, and a corrosion testing lab. Other work would involve simulation, modeling and analysis work in the areas of alloy design, welding, mechanical forming, connection integrity and nondestructive testing. In addition to connections testing, the center will also work to improve the quality of steelmaking itself, engaging in a wide range of metallurgical research involving both carbon- and micro-alloyed steel.