Predicting the future for commodities such as Duplex alloys is always going to be a fraught enterprise. There are so many parameters that can have a dramatic effect on the annual tonnage sold. When Stainless Steel World spoke to Raccortubi’s MD Mr Luca Pentericci, for example, he was most careful in his choice of words as he did not wish to create any false expectations.
There are, however, positive messages in his interview. Mr Pentericci: “We are seeing Duplex capturing increasing market share from common grades such as 316L. The advantage for clients is that, for a relatively modest extra outlay, Duplex can offer a weight saving and can also increase equipment lifetimes. Even a traditional market such as Italy is turning strongly to Duplex, with interest from customers who did not want to use it before. So I do expect the market for Duplex will grow, but as I say it is hard to anticipate the exact future size at this time.”
For Raccortubi Group, the well-known stockholder, supplier and manufacturer of piping materials, Duplex currently represents a modest percentage of total turnover. Mr Pentericci confirms, however, that the Duplex grades are important alloys for his company.
“We have been supplying Duplex and super Duplex items for some 15 years and through group company Tecninox we have Duplex manufacturing experience dating back for a decade. Now we are looking to further invest in our manufacturing company. Not primarily to enhance stocks but to offer fittings in larger sizes and heavier wall thicknesses. We have plans to enhance our hot forming capabilities, offering wall thicknesses up to 50mm. Such specifications will meet growing demand from the oil and gas industry, for example.”
This article was first published in Stainless Steel World