In the spring of 2013, Grunau Metals contacted us about a project to fabricate and build a new centrifuge deck and retrofit structural steel elements of the Dakota Gasification Plant with stainless steel due to its aggressive defense against corrosion. This project was unique in that it involved the production of the largest laser welded stainless steel beams that our company had ever produced for a domestic project.
Profiles: Custom Beams, Channels, & Angles
Material: 316/L Stainless Steel
Execution: Laser Welded
Industry: Oil & Gas
Location: Beulah, North Dakota
Fabricator: Grunau, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Dakota Gasification Project
The Dakota Gasification Company opened their plant in North Dakota in 1995. They produce synthetic natural gas from coal that supplies areas from Canada down to Iowa where it connects with pipelines that caters the entire eastern United States. The plant uses approximately 16,000 tons of coal daily and along with natural gas, the plant also produces ammonium sulfate used in fertilizers, ammonia, and cresylic acids.
As you can imagine, these harsh chemicals and acids make for a very corrosive environment that can be gravely damaging to the structural elements of the plant. After 20 years of continuous production, the plant was in need of significant repair. Grunau Company, an AISC certified fabricator, from Oak Creek, Wisconsin was chosen to build a new centrifuge deck and retrofit the structural steel. To replace the steel structures, type 316L stainless was chosen for its adequate strength and more so for its excellent corrosion resistance.
Custom Laser Welded Profiles
With the need for 316L stainless steel profiles, Stainless Structurals was the only choice to supply the required shapes to Grunau. The specific centrifuge deck project was an 8,616 SQFT platform that required very large wide flange beams and other members including custom laser welded channels and angles. One unique thing about this project is that it required the largest beams our company has ever produced for a domestic project. These 36” tall beams were 16” wide and were produced to custom 32-foot lengths. In total, we supplied over 150 tons of type 316L stainless steel structural shapes for the job.
For a plant like this, a shutdown can be very costly which presented a tight timeline because they only allowed for a one-month shutdown. With critical scheduling, we were able to deliver the profiles on time and Grunau was able to fabricate the all to specification. According to the plant managers, Grunau’s work exceeded that of previous plant contractors. For such a unique project with such large stainless steel profiles, it was a pleasure to work with an experienced fabricator to get the job done.
Stainless Structurals for Many Industries
Laser welded stainless steel profiles are common in a variety of industrial applications like the structural components of this gasification plant. Over the past several years, these profiles have also become increasingly popular in architectural applications. This includes our sharp cornered square and rectangle tubing, which is a perfect match for modern designs. We now have the capabilities to produce custom sharp cornered profiles in carbon steel in addition to stainless. The options are limitless with our vast array of standard and custom profiles. Whether or not you need a large wide flange beam for a structural application in a corrosive environment or small custom channel for a glass entryway, our team is here to help! Contact us today for more information on how our stainless and carbon steel profiles can take your design to the next level.