Sheffield Forgemasters will lead a consortium of partners in a research-and-development project to explore the industrialization of electron-beam welding (EBW) in civil nuclear assemblies, with the potential to integrate welding into the manufacturing process. The Sheffield, U.K., company will install an electron-beam welder capable of welding 3-meter-diameter cylinders under localized vacuum and without traditional welding preparation, offering narrower welds than traditional methods plus the ability to weld as part of the manufacturing process, prior to quality heat treatment. It will then manufacture a civil nuclear component to demonstrate a full-sized (4.3 meters high x 3 meters diameter) small modular reactor pressure vessel and also produce several grades of steel alloys suitable for civil fission and fusion nuclear applications within the project's research element.
Premier Forge Group, a portfolio company of Wynnchurch Capital, acquired California Amforge Corp. Located in Azusa, Calif., Amforge manufactures closed-die, upset and rolled-ring forgings for the aerospace, defense and oil-and-gas industries. The company supplies critical components for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft and engines in military and civil applications. Located in Portland, Ind., and Lebanon, Ky., Premier Forge provides high-value, complex forgings for OEMs in a range of markets. The company’s capabilities include comprehensive forging processes complemented by in-house design and engineering, product machining and heat-treating services.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) signed a binding Combination Agreement providing for a 50/50 merger of their businesses to create the fourth-largest global automotive OEM by volume and third largest by revenue. The combined company will have annual unit sales of 8.7 million vehicles. FCA designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of brands including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people. Groupe PSA, which employs 210,000 people, has five car brands: Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall. It also provides a wide array of mobility and smart services under the Free2Move brand.
Blue Point Capital Partners acquired Mattco Forge Inc., a manufacturer of forged-metal products primarily for the aerospace and defense sectors. Paramount, Calif.-based Mattco offers a wide range of products and customized product configurations in various metal alloys that are critical to high-performance parts. According to Blue Point, Mattco has strategically positioned itself as a key supplier of forged-metal products in the aerospace and defense industries. Blue Point hopes to expand the company's production capabilities, improve its supply-chain management and enhance its business infrastructure.
Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd. (IFA) acquired Doncasters Precision Forge from the Doncasters Group and rebranded it as IFA Precision Forge. IFA manufactures high-integrity, open-die forged components for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers within the aerospace, nuclear, power-generation and marine industries. The deal increased IFA’s site size threefold to 680,000 square feet and expanded its capabilities.
Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private-equity firm, acquired Firth Rixson Forgings Ltd. from Arconic. Going forward, the business will operate as part of Forged Solutions Group, which was formed in November 2019 by Arlington Capital as its aerospace forging platform. Located in Sheffield, United Kingdom, Firth Rixson provides complex closed-die forgings and forged discs and proprietary forward-and-backward extrusion-produced shafts and cylinders primarily for OEM and Tier 1 aerospace and defense engine customers.
United States Steel Corp. plans to reduce greenhouse-gas-emissions intensity across its global footprint by 20%, as measured by the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents emitted per ton of finished steel shipped, by 2030 based on 2018 baseline levels. This target will apply to U.S. Steel’s global operations. The company plans to achieve this goal through multiple initiatives, including the development of electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking at its Fairfield Works and at Big River Steel, in which U.S. Steel recently acquired a minority interest with an option to acquire the remainder over the next four years.
China’s AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging Co. Ltd. put what it says is the world's largest clutch-operated screw press into operation at its site in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. The SPKA-type clutch-operated screw press, which was supplied by SMS group, has a screw diameter of 1,330 millimeters (52 inches), a blow force of 365 MN, a gross power of 27,000 kJ and a weight of 2,900 tons. It offers flexibility when it comes to optimizing the forging process and requires far less stroke to achieve the preset ram speed than a conventional slipping-wheel screw press. This type of press is particularly suited for high-energy forging typically used for turbine blades or structural aircraft components.
Nucor Corp. selected SMS group for the supply of a single-strand continuous caster for ultra-wide and thick slabs. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45 million tons, it will be a core element of the production chain of Nucor’s new plate mill in Brandenburg, Ky. The companies say the casting machine will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. The caster will produce slabs 8-12 inches (200-305 mm) thick up to 124 inches (3,150 mm) wide. Slab lengths will vary from 104 to 600 inches (2,642 to 15,240 mm).
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. completed the sale of its Canadian specialty steel subsidiary, ASW Steel Inc. (ASW), to Valbruna Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A., of Vicenza, Italy. With production facilities in Fort Wayne, Ind., and in Italy, Valbruna produces stainless steels, nickel alloys and titanium long products. It has an annual output of approximately 200,000 tons of specialty steels.