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Vallourec introduces an additive manufacturing unit and unveils its ambitions in hydrogen storage

Vallourec introduces two 3D metal-printing robots at its production and R&D site in Aulnoye-Aymeries in northern France.
04/14/2023
Press Release

Aulnoye-Aymeries, France, April 14, 2023 – Vallourec introduces two 3D metal-printing robots at its production and R&D site in Aulnoye-Aymeries in northern France. The Group also unveils its state-of-the-art hydrogen storage technology.
This event was attended by Bernard Baudoux, Mayor of Aulnoye-Aymeries and President of the Maubeuge Val de Sambre agglomeration, and Corinne Simon, Deputy Prefect of Avesne-sur-Helpe.

The new WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) unit adds cutting-edge technology to one of Vallourec’s longest-tenured production facilities.

The WAAM production unit is set to bring customers greater supply chain flexibility. The capability to create 3D-printed products can enable a wide-ranging catalog of large-format metal parts, produced in small quantities, on-demand and close to their place of use. This method has the potential to substantially reduce lead times and inventory demands in complex tubular applications. The unique layer-by-layer metal deposition technique allows the production of complex parts and can be used to produce multiple forms while limiting the quantity of material used and, hence, the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. The technology has potential applications across a wide range of markets, including energy, transportation, and defense.

To step up the use of this new production method and structure the ecosystem, Naval Group and Vallourec today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, the culmination of a fruitful collaboration that began two years ago.

This project, as part of the France Relance recovery plan, is supported by various national and regional public entities.

Vallourec lays out a new vision for compressed hydrogen storage

Vallourec also unveils plans to test an innovative vertical hydrogen storage solution using the Group’s range of sophisticated tubes and connections. Vallourec’s solution is a novel concept designed to enable efficient storage of green hydrogen with a reduced footprint and meaningful safety advantages vs. other solutions.

This technology is part of the global Vallourec® New Energies offering, designed to support the energy transition.

Relying on a range of tubes and connections that have already been tested as well as its R&D skills, the Group will install a Proof Of Concept offering a vertical solution aimed at reducing the footprint and thus facilitating integration into projects. This investment is a major step in the validation of the solution.

These developments illustrate Vallourec’s commitment to continuous innovation. Their housing at the historic Aulnoye-Aymeries site, the home of our global R&D center, reflects the combination of the Group’s long-standing expertise and its embrace of new skills and technologies. The two projects presented today, the WAAM and our hydrogen storage solution, are part of our ‘New Vallourec’s plan aiming at accelerating our transformation and making our Group a key player in the low-carbon economy by 2050,” said Philippe Guillemot, Chairman and CEO of Vallourec.