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Record-Setting Seamless Ring, in Record Time

Euskal Forging produced a part with an outer diameter of 10,000 mm, with an input weight of 80 metric tons

Rolled rings are fascinating products, combining visual simplicity with engineered complexity. The material that forms them, the processes that shape them, and the machines that incorporate these rings all rely on that combination of a simple shape working under heavy loads to achieve demanding tasks.

Now the corps of rolled-ring designers and manufacturers have a new example at which to marvel:  Euskal Forging in Spain has established a new world record for seamless rolled-ring manufacturing, producing one with an outer diameter of 10,000 mm (more than 32 feet), and an input weight of 80,000 kg (more than 88 tons.) The ring was designed and produced for Fistuca BV, as a critical component of its 25M Blue Piling Technology hydraulic hammer, to be used to sink large footings as the foundations of offshore wind turbines.

Euskal Forging, headquartered in the Basque region, produced the ring at its plant in Sestao. The company is a well-established manufacturer of large-dimension rings carbon, alloy, and stainless steel rings, as well as titanium and superalloys.

In addition to seamless ring production, Euskal has turning, drilling and gear cutting capabilities at three plants in northern Spain, especially for renewable energy markets (offshore and onshore wind farms) but also for defense, industrial power, and oil-and-gas sector applications.  

Euskal was established more than 40 years ago with a single manufacturing plant producing seamless rolled-rings of up to 1,5000 mm and 400 kg, gradually increasing its product range up to 10,000 mm diameter and 80,000 kg by 2015.

Today the company has five ring-rolling machines across three plants, and offers one of the broadest ranges of rolled-ring products in the world, from 400 to 10,000 mm O.D. and from 30 to 80,000 kg.

The record-setting ring is possible thanks to the latest ring-rolling machine, a SMS Meer RAW 1.000/1.000 unit, described as one of the largest and most powerful machines of this type now in operation.

According to the contract placed by Fistuca, Euskal Forging rolled, heat-treated, machined, and delivered five rings ranging from 6,500 mm to 10,000 mm O.D., with input weights from 24,000 to 80,000 kg. Euskal Forging engineers also played a critical role in the products’ design, adjusting the chemical compositions to meet the customer’s specified mechanical properties for these extra heavy parts.

The Sestao plant also has three, state-of-the art gas-fired heat-treating furnaces. Two of the furnaces measure 8,000x8,000 mm, with a loading capacity of up to 50,000 kg; and the other furnace measures 10,000x10,000 mm, with a loading capacity of up to 80,000 kg. Quenching tanks are used to complete different types of heat treatments, according to customers’ specifications.

The Sestao plant also has finish-machining capabilities, which simplifies the handling of parts after rolling. At that location, Euskal Forging has two CNC vertical lathes to turn rings up to 6,500 mm O.D.; three CNC vertical lathes to turn rings up to 8,000 mm O.D.; a CNC mill/turn machine for rings up to 10,000 mm O.D.; and a CNC vertical lathe to turn rings up to 12,000  mm. The plant also has a CNC vertical drilling machine for rings up to 9,000 mm O.D., and A gear cutting machine to produce gears up to 8,000 mm O.D.

All the inspections and controls for this project were also carried out at the Sestao plant as Euskal Forging has available a Level III UT inspector, eight Level II UT inspectors, two Level III MT inspectors, and five Level II MT inspectors, plus all the necessary quality-control equipment.

The Sestao plant is built in a harbor-side location, which further aids the logistics of transport and delivery of large, finished rings. For the Fistuca order, all five seamless rings for the Blue 25M hammer were produced, finished, DNV-GL inspected and approved, and shipped successfully, and in a record time.

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