TMK IPSCO Breaks Ground on Houston R&D Facility



Global pipe manufacturer TMK IPSCO has broken ground on a new 51,000 square-foot Research & 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. The Research & Development Center will serve TMK IPSCO, as well as the global operations of its parent company, Moscow-based OAO TMK.

"This new facility is a testament both to our commitment to innovation and to our position of leadership in our industry," said Piotr Galitzine, chairman of TMK IPSCO. "The work we do here will lead to advancements in the production of pipe and pipe connections, which are becoming increasingly important as oil and gas companies continue to expand into difficult, unconventional drilling environments. Other products are on the drawing board as well."

Hosted by Galitzine and attended by leaders of both TMK and TMK IPSCO, a groundbreaking ceremony is planned Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. Central time, at the site of the facility — 10120 Houston Oaks Dr., Houston, TX 77064.

The TMK IPSCO Research & Development Center 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, 27,000 square feet of office space, and a two-and-a-half story glass entry atrium at the center point. The facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011.

Two high-tech connection testers rated at four million pounds and two 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 (SEM), a collapse tester, tensile and fatigue testers and a corrosion testing lab, among others. Other work would involve simulation, modeling and analysis work in the areas of alloy design, welding, mechanical forming, connection integrity, non-destructive testing, etc.

In addition to connections testing, TMK IPSCO's Research & Development 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.

"This is a very exciting endeavor for TMK IPSCO," said Prasenjit Adhikari, the company's chief technology officer. "The Research & Development Center puts our company at the cutting edge of technology. Not only will we have some of the world's best equipment and processes here, but we'll have some of the world's top professionals in the fields of engineering, science, manufacturing and metallurgy."

The center will serve both TMK IPSCO and OAO TMK, and will collaborate with numerous organizations, including MIT, the Russian Research Institute for the Tube and Pipe Industries (RosNITI), and several other top industrial forums, research labs and universities.

TMK IPSCO operates in North America as a division of TMK, a global market leader in energy pipe production. TMK operates 23 production facilities around the world. TMK product offerings include a wide range of seamless and welded energy tubular products including oil & gas drill pipe, well casing and tubing, line pipe, LD pipe, standard pipe, hollow structural sections and related services. TMK also manufactures premium connections for oil and natural gas drilling and production.