New Forms and New Markets Ramp-Up ToughMet® Growth
The Oil & Gas Market - A new ToughMet temper engineered specifically for oil and gas applications is currently being field-tested by Hess Corporation to see if its exceptional anti-friction and anti-galling characteristics can provide a solution to production tubing failures, a costly problem in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oil fields. Initial tests in wells with a history of the problem have been very promising. The ToughMet couplings pulled out for examination show almost no signs of wear. Initially developed for the oil and gas market, Materion’s ToughMet high-strength engineered alloy has since expanded into commercial aerospace, heavy equipment, consumer electronics and other markets.
The Defense Market - Materion added a new ToughMet customer in a new market when it won a significant defense contract related to the retrofit of up to 1,080 U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Materion is supplying finished machined suspension system sleeve bearings to support the weight of added heavier armor and reduce maintenance. The legacy bearings need to be replaced every 1,500 miles. The ToughMet bearings lasted 6,000 and 8,000 miles, the extent of the two tests that were conducted. The contract has already led to another one for a similar upgrade of the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, and it is opening other doors in the defense market.