Parcitank, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of storage tanks, has been exploring Outokumpu’s Supra 316plus for making wine tanks.
As wine ferments, it produces carbon dioxide fumes that rise to the top. “That is why, generally, the upper part of the tank is made of 316 stainless steel, and the rest of the tank is made of 304,” explains Parcitank’s Director of Production, Antonio Parra.
Outokumpu’s Supra 316plus is a new high-chromium austenitic stainless steel grade that represents a competitive alternative to 316(L). “It has better resistance to corrosion compared to the standard 316 grade, and more strength,” says Parra.
Taking these advantages into account, Parcitank has decided to purchase Supra 316plus and is planning to use the new grade more widely. “We are performing tests in the lab, following the specifications from Outokumpu,” says Parra.
“Initially it is performing pretty well, so we are going to manufacture several wine tanks, for our own winery and for some trusted clients in our area,” announces Parra.
This change of material is important to Parcitank since wine tanks are one of their key products. The company is based in the winemaking region of La Mancha in central Spain, and makes wine tanks for customers worldwide.
Parcitank is closely monitoring those tanks to better understand the performance of the material. “After that, we will be able to use this material more broadly,” says Parra.
Looking forward to new grades
Parcitank’s quality control process will make it possible for the company to progressively expand the use of Supra 316plus. As a business that requires large amounts of steel for its operations, Parra highlights the need to keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry.
“That is important for us. We are always very interested in any new innovations and new grades, and we rely on steelmakers to inform us of new materials that are best suited for a particular product and sector.”