Energomash is one of the largest Russian manufacturers and suppliers of industrial valves and fittings. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early '90s, it mainly supplied customers in the Soviet Union and East European bloc. However, its local market disappeared virtually overnight and Energomash had to search for new markets abroad. With 8 PTA (plasma transferred arc) machines, it consumed considerable amounts of NiCrBSi - up to 30 tons a year, which it purchased form a local manufacturer.
With its new foreign customers, a quality problem quickly appeared. It became apparent that the powder sourced from its local supplier was inconsistent in quality - the chemical composition and range of particle size was too wide. This meant that Energomash's products often failed to comply with its customer's hardfacing requirements.
The Stellite solution
Energomash contacted us about this issue. The powder specification it used was different from our Deloro Alloy standard range, so we had to modify our powder in terms of chemical composition and range of powder size. We worked closely with the company develop a new specification and after trying several new powders, we selected a new one together. This new composition has met all the technical requirements and gained ZNIITMASH approval from the Central Research Scientific Institute for Machine-building Technology in Russia.
We now supply around 6 tonnes of STELLITE® 45 HD and W special specification to Energomash a year. As our powder has a much tighter specification on chemical composition and powder size, Energomash is now able to achieve constant high quality in its hardfacing layers. It attains a consistently high quality without welding defects like porosity, lack of fusion or nonmetallic inclusions.
Our newest fully automatic PTA machine gives the customer greater control than was the case with PTA machines from its previous suppliers. The company can now hardface elliptic form parts, ensure constant parameter control and regulation on multi-layers and offer special software and hardware possibilities for start/finish operation.
We have developed a good relationship with Energomash, which has expanded into other areas of business. For example, Energomash recently purchased a new computer-controlled Coating Star PTA machine from our Hettiger Stellite company. Our specialist technicians installed the machine and Energomash company specialists believe that this fully automatic PTA machine will contribute to a further improvement in quality.
We are also working together with Energomash specialists on an R&D project to develop a new powder composition for a special application case.