Straight on the spot
Gpi is a leading manufacturer of high-grade stainless steel tanks and process equipment, strategically located near Europe’s biggest port in Rotterdam. In a recent project, the company built a massive tank, 19 meters in diameter and 18 meters in height, for Dow Chemical.
The tank was built on-site at Dow Chemical, the world’s second-largest chemical company using a unique coil building machine from the top to the bottom of the tank.
“The system lifts the tank by means of computer-controlled hydraulic jacks. When the tank is lifted, stainless steel is unrolled from the coil to create one complete shell course at the bottom end of the tank, which is then welded to the tank’s body,” explains Rick Cluistra, Manager Sales Engineering of Gpi.
Outokumpu supplied stainless steel sheets and coils to the project.
“In this highly specialized project, the decisive factor was to get all the details right. We’re especially proud that we could comply with the very specific technical requirements of the end user,” says Outokumpu’s Benelux Sales Manager Paul Gruijters.
“The coils were tailored to a pre-defined length so that all tank skirts could be completed with only one vertical weld. Also, due to customized lengths, a lot of excess material could be avoided, further optimizing production related logistics on site”, Gruijters adds.
Understanding end user requirements
Rick Cluistra is very satisfied with the cooperation with Outokumpu, the biggest supplier of stainless steel for the construction of standard cylindrical storage tanks in the Benelux countries.
“During the sales phase, we received valuable technical assistance from our long-standing supplier in regards to suitable stainless steel grades, standards and required tests. They know our client’s stringent requirements, so they immediately understood what kind of performance we were looking for.”
Gpi chose Outokumpu Forta DX 2205 for its good corrosion resistance and high mechanical strength. Approximately 65 tonnes of hot rolled sheets and coils were supplied to the Dow tank. Another important factor was the 3.2 material certification which verifies that the material is inspected by both the manufacturer and an independent third party.
Other typical duplex grades for tank building applications include Forta LDX 2101 and Forta EDX 2304. Along with Forta DX 2205, they have good weldability and provide opportunities for reducing weight and cost.
“I would like to highlight our Forta EDX 2304, which is an enhanced variant of Forta DX 2304. Forta EDX 2304 represents a better corrosion resistance and higher mechanical strength compared to Forta DX 2304, providing even better opportunities for cost savings. When having the choice between these two grades, Forta EDX 2304 is an obvious winner. For almost every environment, Outokumpu has a broad range of duplex variants in its portfolio ranging from cost effective lean duplexes like Forta LDX 2101 and Forta LDX 2404 to super duplexes like Forta SDX 2507 – and everything in between!”, Gruijters points out.
See the unique coil building machine in action: