Sandvik Materials Technology, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced stainless steel and special alloy products for demanding environments, has inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art automatic ultrasonic pipe testing facility for the oil and gas industry.

According to Per Olsson Artberger, Sandvik's global product manager OTCG, the new facility represents a key milestone in the company's 'enhanced strategic focus on demanding applications' within the oil and gas industry.

"The new ultrasonic testing facility allows us to increase our capabilities and capacity significantly. Despite the current downturn in the oil and gas market, we see continued good business opportunities for Sandvik material grades, especially in the Middle East and Caspian Sea regions. What the new, automated facility provides us with is a much speedier throughput and greatly enhanced testing capabilities which meet the toughest requirements for defect detection," he said.

Sandvik decided to invest in the new facility because of the importance of the oil and gas sector to the company. Ultrasonic testing, said the company, was the limiting factor in achieving maximum output with its existing facility so it invested not only in capacity, but also state-of-the-art technology to meet the industry's toughest requirements for defect detection.

For Artberger, the new facility allows Sandvik to meet and exceed all customer requirements, putting the company in a world-leading position as an OTCG manufacturer.

"It also builds on the strategic alliance between Sandvik and Tenaris on the exclusive joint supply of corrosion-resistant alloy OTCG materials and technology to the oil and gas industry," he said.