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New large-diameter pipe mill for Shashi Steel Pipe Works
SMS Meer GmbH
Port Pipe and Tube Inc
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Company: SMS Meer GmbH, Germany
Attn: Peter Byroslawsky

Shashi Steel Pipe Works, P.R. China, a member of the China Petrochemical Corp. (SINOPEC) has placed an order with SMS Meer GmbH, Monchengladbach, Germany, the Tube, Section, Copper Plants Division of SMS Demag AG for the supply of machines and equipment for a new large-diameter pipe mill. The new pipe mill is designed for a capacity of approx. 150,000 t/a and will be erected in Shashi, Hubei Province, some 100 km to the west of Wuhan. Erection and com-missioning of the whole plant is scheduled for 2002. After completion, this pipe mill will be one of the most modern of its type in the world.

The decisive factors for the placement of the order were the technical solutions offered by SMS Meer GmbH which have already been employed in a large number of reference plants with leading companies, and the short delivery times thanks to the available technical know-how.

SAW longitudinal weld steel pipes with diameters from 219 mm to 1,422 mm, wall thicknesses up to 32.0 mm and lengths up to max. 12.2 m will be produced in the new mill. The pipes in grades up to X70 will meet the requirements of standard API 5L and are intended for use in the pipelines which will connect the oil and gas fields in the north-west of the country with the large cities in the east and south-east.

The SMS Meer scope of supply includes a plate edge milling machine, a pipe forming press with manipulator and a mechanical expander. The plate edge mil-ling machine serves to produce precise chamfers as optimum preparation of the plate edges for the subsequent welding. The machine operates with one milling head per side. The milling heads are fitted with indexable carbide tips, operate fully automatically and are incorporated into the process of the plant as a whole under program control. This method offers clean, burr-free cut edges without cold deformation. An appropriate choice of cutting speed according to material and width oversize increases the tool service lives. Short and easily discharged chips save material and machining costs.

In the pipe forming press with its closed frame and manipulator, the plate milled at the edges and subsequently crimped is formed into a pipe in individual steps over the whole plate length by a forming tool. The process is fully program-con-trolled. The advantage of this method is that even pipes with small diameters, large wall thicknesses and high material strengths can be produced.

The mechanical expander serves to straighten and size the pipes. Through gradual cold forming with an expanding head inside the pipe during which a plastic deformation of between 1% and 1.5% takes place, the pipes are sized from the inside after final welding and straightened over their whole length. This inside sizing simplifies the later laying of the pipes in the field as the cross-sec-tions fit perfectly together. This also applies when pipe sections are cut in the field as the pipes are sized over their full length. This deformation of the pipe, during which the yield strength of the material is exceeded, subjects the pipe body and weld seam to an extreme load such as no longer occurs later in the laid pipeline. In addition, this deformation compensates the intrinsic stresses created in the pipe during the forming process. The mechanical expander thus ensures a product of the highest geometric quality with outstanding physical and mechan-ical properties. For this reason, expanded pipes are being increasingly used in oil and gas pipelines.

The tack-welding machine and tools for the plate crimping press will be manufac-tured by Chinese companies on the basis of the SMS Meer engineering.


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