voestalpine Specialty Metals


Our products and services can be found in every field of oil and gas production and processing from upstream processes in which petroleum compounds are explored to downstream activities in which extracted oil and gas is processed, cracked or transformed as a feedstock. You will also find our products and services in midstream technologies used in the transport of hydrocarbons.

Upstream challenges

Global demand for oil and gas continues to increase whilst historic supplies are being depleted. This is driving the upstream segment to increase exploration activity and develop extraction/production techniques applicable to hostile onshore and offshore environments. Such difficult environments are tight deposits, deep water >3000 meters, pre-salt deposits and under-arctic ice flows. This results in greater exposure to increased temperatures ranges, pressures and corrosive environments in addition to environmental risks associated with component or system failures.

Increased offshore exploration in shallow or deep water has resulted in major investments for jack-up rigs offering the flexibility associated with mobility for which the use of high strength steels with yield in excess of 690 MPa are widely used. Production in deep-water, pre-salt and sour-service environments require higher strength steels that offer resistance to corrosion, erosion and increased operating temperature ranges. In such applications, high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) and super duplex stainless steels are used in conjunction with high-nickel and wear-resistant alloys. Our mills have had many years of experience in developing and adapting our grades to meet these stringent industrial demands.

Customers and stakeholders in this key segment are often global but include local or regional partnerships and can be summarized as governments, national and international oil companies, and front-end engineering and design (FEED).

Upstream applications

Technically demanding applications in corrosive and high-strength environments such as construction of topside processing equipment, jack-up rigs, subsea umbilical flowline and riser (SURF) systems.

  • Topside processing modules
  • SURF systems: subsea, umbilical, risers, flow lines
  • MWD/LWD components.

Downstream challenges

Global demand for fuel products is increasing. The quality of petroleum compounds such as crude oil or natural gas extracted in different geographical locations is diverse, and extra-heavy oil plays a bigger role than it did in the past. Unconventional oil and gas from oil sands and shale are being explored and are more in focus. The environmental restrictions on fuels and petrochemical products have become stricter. All these variables complicate the solution for the oil and gas suppliers in determining how to make the best quality products from the most difficult, heaviest feedstock and with sustainable margins.

To solve this problem, a lot of innovative processes have been introduced over the decades. Each new process offers better output provided that critical process equipment withstands the intense thermomechanical loads and resists numerous damage mechanisms. We have been busy making ever better and finer steel grades to withstand such service conditions.

Downstream applications

We focus on demanding applications within petroleum refining, gas processing, olefin and aromatic as well as methanol plants.

  • Crude and vacuum distillation towers
  • Desalters
  • Hydrodesulphurization (HDS) reactors
  • Hydrocracking reactors
  • Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) reactors
  • Alkylation reactors and acid drums
  • Gas processing injection lines
  • Gas processing inlet separators
  • Various fractionators
  • Methanol reactors

Chemical processing challenges

The chemical industry requires specific construction materials for a variety of plants and equipment. The chemical industry uses a wide range of corrosion-resistant alloys in equipment exposed to highly corrosive environments, high pressures and temperatures in vessels, tanks, valves, pumps, compressors, agitators, etc. voestalpine Specialty Metals operates in every area of the chemical industry and supplies stainless and nickel alloy bars products designed for applications required in pulp and paper, chemical processing, inorganic chemicals, desalination, urea, food and beverage, etc.

We can offer the most suitable stainless and nickel alloy bar products for chemical processing plants delivering basic products such as monomers, basic polymers, fibers, as well as engineered polymers, specialty chemicals, adhesives and paintings.
Due to the large variety of reactions and products in the chemical processing industry, the requirements of base materials are numerous. The chemical processing industry is often coupled with the O&G downstream segment in the same plants. These segments include transformation processes for oil and gas and lead to end-products such as fibers, plastic, films, paints, adhesives from olefins and aromatics to several monomers, polymers (basic and engineered) and require specific and tailored solutions, particularly for special chemicals. Modern plants are often multipurpose, and the trend of materials is toward high-tech alloys resistant to many types of corrosive agents. Our application technologies and mill suppliers R&D departments collaborate continuously with our customers and engineering companies to find the most appropriate alloy solution to meet the customer and market needs.

Chemical processing applications

Chemical reactions at high temperatures (e.g. thermal cracking or pyrolysis) as well as medium and room temperature, often generate highly corrosive environments. Reagents, catalysts and stabilizers can have oxidizing or reducing effects and may contain aggressive salts, acids, bases and chlorides.
Our stainless and nickel bar products are used in manufacturing equipment, including the following:

  • Thermal crackers
  • Distillation columns
  • Heat exchangers
  • Heaters
  • Mixers
  • Agitators
  • Centrifuges
  • Piping
  • Reactors
  • Pumps
  • Compressors
  • Valves

The oil and gas fastener industry utilizes many different materials, including stainless steel, nickel alloys, and exotics such as the alloys 718, A-286 (660 B/D), and 925. These materials, and others, are readily available at voestalpine Specialty Metals. With our world class facilities based in the centers of the oil and gas market we are able to respond quickly to the short turnaround times that are inherent to the oil and gas fastener market.