Page 9 - GlobalEyes Edition 3 Jun 2011

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At the time, the original supplier
was having difficulty achieving
properties in the heavy
sections of the casting and
the customer was looking for
technical support in making
the appropriate improvements.
Energy’s technical staff worked
in conjunction with the Curtiss
Wright metallurgist to adjust
the chemistry and develop a
method of extracting test
samples from the massive
bolt holes without damaging
the finished part.
After working with Curtiss
Wright metallurgists to achieve
the required properties in the
heavy sections of the casting,
Bradken poured eight 22-tonne
stainless steel primary coolant
pump casings, critical class
one components of the new
nuclear reactor program.
The AP1000 design employs
all the latest technical and
safety improvements in nuclear
energy power generation and
is being employed around the
world in many countries to
meet the need for clean energy.
The emergency reactor cooling
system, which also uses a
number of Tacoma castings,
is designed to address the fail-
safe weaknesses of the older
generation of reactor designs
that are dominating the
headlines. The AP1000
emergency shutdown design
floods and cools the reactor
through pump inertia and
explosive gate valve openings
even if the outside power
source fails.
The Tacoma facility is managed
through Bradken’s Energy
business, which was originally
approached by Curtiss Wright
EMD in 2009 for the project,
but had to pass on the original
opportunity because the part
was too heavy for the Tacoma
plant. But following an
expansion that increased our
pouring and AOD refining
capacity, we were able to
quote on the second
opportunity for the big
cooling pumps.
We also produced full size
nozzle test castings to assist
the customer in developing an
ultrasonic test procedure for
use in inspecting the weld
joint connection of the pump
after installation and during
periodic inspections.
One of the critical features
of the pump is the manner in
which it attaches to the steam
generator. The inlet nozzle
welds to the bottom of the
generator and carries the
weight of the pump and the
drive-motor assembly. Thus,
the mechanical properties
and the casting soundness
of the inlet nozzle are critical
factors in the design criteria.
To date, Bradken has poured
eight of the large pump
casings and is looking forward
to a possible follow-on order
for twelve more castings.
The current project is for
Georgia Southern Utility and
the new opportunity is for a
nuclear power plant in China.
In late February, Lindsay
Artis and Dave Dennis of the
energy business sales team
travelled to China to evaluate
other potential nuclear casting
opportunities. The trip was
made possible through the
assistance of our Rail Division
in China who established
contacts with key Chinese
Officials and prospective
equipment manufacturers –
another example of Bradken
businesses supporting
one another.
Bradken helps Curtiss
material properties
A significant capital expansion at Bradken’s Tacoma Foundry has
enabled Bradken to find a solution to a materials property problem
and pour a series of large nuclear pump casings for Curtiss Wright EMD
One of the 22-tonne pump casings.