Interview with Vincent Duffy, HSP Metallurgist

Published: 06/06/2016

Vincent Duffy joined HSP in 2014 as a Metallurgist. With 30 years’ experience, Vincent has a wealth of knowledge in valve metallurgy and valve manufacturing including materials, material selection, material testing, heat treatment and metallurgical analysis. Vincent supports our sales and project management teams by reviewing and evaluating customer requirements and specifications. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards are crucial in the industry and Vincent ensures materials are compliant and correct through direct visits to suppliers to oversee all stages of valve production and testing.

Background to Metallurgy

Why is metallurgy important in the oil and gas industry?

It is estimated that the total cost of material corrosion within the oil and gas industry is £1 billion per year. It is widely recognised that effective corrosion management, including the correct choice of materials, can help reduce these costs and also prevent any health, safety, and environmental issues which can result from poor corrosion control. HSP works closely with our clients and our suppliers so that specifications are clear and consistently applied.

What have been the most significant changes in the valve industry over the past few years?

One of the most significant changes I have witnessed during my career in the valve industry has been the diffusion and adoption of new materials in manufacturing processes. Duplex stainless steels have been around since the 1930’s however, their rapid advancement in the 1960’s and 1970’s was due to increased technology in the steel making industry and their equipment advantages in the oil and gas industry. When I first started working in the valve industry in the 1980’s, valves manufactured in duplex stainless steel were not common. Today we have production and storage facilities which are totally manufactured from duplex stainless steels. Duplex stainless steels owe their unique properties to the correct chemistry, microstructure and processing and when they are specified, we ensure that the material being supplied meet the industry requirements.

What are your priorities at the moment?

I was discussing the current downturn in the industry with some equipment end users and we agreed that one of the common problems in these times is the loss of knowledge from our industry-knowledge that you do not always get back when experienced people retire or change fields. Therefore, one of my priorities within HSP is to continue to impart that knowledge that I have gained to my associates in HSP. We started this last year with some detailed training in metallurgy and API specifications and we need to continue this work. This will allow us to react more quickly to customer requirements in the future.

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