Castings and machined parts for the oil and gas industry


Precision Castings and Machined Parts for the Oil and Gas Industry

October 20th, 2022

It’s hardly surprising that the oil and gas industry sets high standards for castings and machined metal parts. They’re exposed to harsh environments and chemicals, at risk of corrosion, and often placed into service in hard-to-access locations. Failures can be costly to correct and it can take years to recover from reputational damage.

Impro has extensive expertise in producing high quality parts for oil and gas industry customers. From extraction to distribution and storage, we understand what’s expected and we have the systems in place to satisfy those demands.

Challenging Materials

Some industries can use parts made from materials that cast and machine readily, like aluminum, cast iron and brass. Not so oil and gas. While these metals have a role, strength, durability and corrosion-resistance often demand alloy steel, stainless steel, and even superalloys like Inconel®.

These alloys are difficult to cast and harder still to machine. They have high melting points, poor fluidity, and some react with standard refractory equipment and components. When it comes to machining, their strength requires careful optimization of metal removal rates, tool life and floor-to-floor times. Some of these metals tend to stick to cutting inserts, accelerating tool wear and increasing machine downtime.

Complex Geometries

Parts that Impro makes for oil and gas industry customers include end covers, fuel nozzle and fuel nozzle assembly, chassis. These range in weight from less than one pound to 100 pounds and in size from just a few inches to 118” or more.

Many of these parts could be produced by welding smaller parts to form a single large fabrication. Our recent acquisition has broadened Impro’s expertise in complex fabrication and assembly through Nadcap-certified GTAW, vacuum brazing and additional EDM and WEDM and testing capabilities. Impro prefers to cast these as near net shape pieces when feasible, which results in higher quality and precision.

Surface finishes are often key to achieving satisfactory performance, so it’s important to use the right casting process. What’s more, installation requires features be machined to tight tolerances with excellent part-to-part repeatability.

Casting and Precision Machining Capabilities for Oil and Gas

Investment casting is a more complex process with longer lead times and more involved tooling. In its favor though, it delivers smooth surfaces ideal for good fluid flow and high accuracy reduces machining allowances.

Even when investment cast, parts for the oil and gas industry almost always need some machining. This can range from producing flat flange faces with precisely positioned boltholes to creation of precise internal chambers for pump impellers.

As a one-stop-shop for metal parts, Impro has made substantial investments in machining capacity. These include:

  • High precision CNC lathes and mills
  • Turning and machining centers
  • Cylindrical grinding
  • Multi-spindle turning and centerless grinding for small cylindrical parts produced in high volume
  • Various deburring processes
  • Multiple heat treatment processes

By design, this equipment is suitable for use with the challenging alloys discussed above.

Quality Management Systems

At Impro we’re proud of our ability to provide demanding customers with consistently high quality metal parts, backed as needed by material certificates. This performance is achieved through rigorous adherence to formal quality management systems subjected to external audit and certified accordingly.

For customers in the aerospace sector our systems are accredited to AS 9100 and NADCAP standards. We also meet ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 for the automotive industry and Marine Society requirements for that sector. For oil and gas customers we follow the TPG (Transportation & Power Generation) Accreditation Program. Of relevance to all customers, our operations also comply with the environmental management standard, ISO 14001.

If you need precision castings and machined parts, contact us today.


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