How TUNGUM® began to conquer the world.
TUNGUM® was developed by Sidney Tungay in the early 1920s. Since the material looks like gold when polished, it was originally intended to be used primarily for decorative purposes. However, TUNGUM® very soon proved to be an outstanding engineering alloy. Its unusual chemical and physical properties were already demonstrated in tests in the early 1930s.
Since the end of the 1930s, it has been used as the material of choice for many applications requiring particularly good corrosion resistance.
An important stimulus came in the early 1970s, when Lloyd’s decided to prescribe TUNGUM® for use in oxygen lines on diving and hyperbaric systems for safety reasons. Almost over night, the manufacturers of diving equipment switched the circuits of all their diving systems from high-grade steel to TUNGUM®. The alloy is ideal for these applications, since it does not give off sparks and has a clean internal surface.
The use of TUNGUM® in the oil and gas industry began in the 1970s, prior to which both the American and the British industry had exclusively used high-grade steel tubes and pipes in their offshore facilities.
In view of a growing number of worrying cases of corrosion in high-grade steel tubes and pipes, more and more companies decided to partly switch their systems to TUNGUM®. Owing to its corrosion resistance, it was increasingly put to use in important hydraulic and pneumatic systems, where it proves to be an outstanding success.
The freedom from maintenance of TUNGUM® installations convinced customers around the globe who were confronted with the expensive replacement of high-grade steel due to pitting. This type of corrosion often occurred after just the first two years of a planned service life of more than 25 years.
TUNGUM® is today used by BP, Shell, Conoco Philips, KBR & AMEC, for example. Shell prescribes TUNGUM® tubes as the standard material for hydraulic and pneumatic product lines. This applies both to new installations and to repairs (gas platforms).
BP prescribes TUNGUM® as the standard material in its globally valid specification BP DWGOM GP36-15-1 Mitigating/Preventing External Corrosion in Topside Small Bore Tubing, which applies to all gas and liquid lines up to 5,000 psi (approx. 345 bar) that are not directly involved in the production process.