The global Hot Isostatic Pressing community lost a leader and innovator when Carl-Gustaf Hjorth, passed away on May 3, 2016, aged 69. A long-time member of the HIP community, Hjorth is survived by his wife, Christina, their three children and four grandchildren.
Hjorth obtained his MSc Degree in Metallurgical Engineering at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1971 and first went to work for the Swedish Institute for Metals Research, later joining ASEA Surahamars Bruk, a steelmaking company, in 1973. In 1984, when ASEA formed and built ASEA Powdermet AB in Surahammar, Sweden, Hjorth joined the new HIP operation as a Sales Manager, the beginning of a long and continuous era of advancement and commercialisation of world leading HIP PM products.
ASEA Powdermet transitioned to ABB Powdermet in 1988 and then became Bodycote Powdermet when Bodycote PLC bought the ABB operation in 1994. Hjorth rose to the position of Business Development and Business Area Manager of Bodycote Powdermet. In 1999 when the Sales and Marketing group from Bodycote Powdermet was split off to become Santasalo Powdermet AB, part of the Finnish Metso Company, Carl-Gustaf went with the Metso group, leading that team as they became a profitable operation, marketing and selling HIP PM near net shape products to the world and also providing post-HIP supply-chain management in the form of testing, machining, and certification.
The ASEA Powdermet Facility in Surahammar, Sweden circa 1984. This operation quickly became a world leader in the production of HIPed powder metallurgy near net shapes using thin-wall capsules to make complex parts from metal powders
In 2006, Metso Powdermet was sold to Sandvik becoming Sandvik Powder Solutions AB. While operating, yet again, under a new name, the team of people led by Hjorth continued to develop and produce new innovative products using HIP PM technology such as the marine diesel engine valve comprised of a forged, austenitic valve stem clad with three different powders, consolidated via HIP to provide optimal properties in specific locations of the combustion face and the valve seat.
Three large marine diesel engine valve stems, a class-leading part, produced by cladding three different powder alloys, 316L stainless steel, Ni49Cr1Nb and a corrosion and wear resistant powder to a wrought steel substrate in order to produce a part that has specific mechanical properties at specific locations on the valve .
Carl-Gustaf was involved in many significant technical accomplishments during his career, they include:
- The Alfa Laval Separator Cap, one of the earliest HIP PM near net shape products produced with initial production beginning in 1985.
- The first PM/HIP manifold system, produced for use by Marathon Oil in the North Sea in 1992.
- In 2001, Metso Powdermet, led by Hjorth, working in cooperation with Bodycote Powdermet AB produced what was believed to be the World’s largest HIP PM component when they manufactured a swivel similar to shown here having nominal dimensions of 2.6 meters x 1.29 meters and weighing 13.5 metric tons.
A completed HIP PM Swivel being crated for shipping: In 2001, Metso Powdermet, led by Carl-Gustaf, working in cooperation with Bodycote Powdermet AB produced in 2001 what was believed to be the World’s largest HIP PM component when they manufactured a swivel similar to shown here having nominal dimensions of 2.6 meters x 1.29 meters and weighing 13.5 metric tons. The swivel was used by Framo AS in Norway as part of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel that operated in the Leadon off-shore oil field of the North Sea
Carl-Gustaf also led or played a key role in other industry such as:
- Hjorth along with his friend and colleague, John Hebeisen of Bodycote, drove the creation of ASTM A988 and A989 Standards. These standards have served as a foundation for the recent and on-going creation of ASME Code cases for the use of HIP PM materials in pressure applications. Events that will greatly facilitate the adoption of HIP PM technology by end user companies.
- Hjorth led the effort within the International HIP Committee to have HIP’14, the triennial international HIP conference on hot isostatic pressing held in Sweden in 2014 and then played a key organisational role, serving as Conference Chairman for the event.
- Hjorth was the author of numerous papers and technical presentations on HIP
Hjorth played a lead and key role in growing the market of HIP PM near net shape products in oil and gas both in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico offshore markets. Hjorth retired from full-time work in 2009 only to return a year later to serve as interim President of Sandvik Powder Solutions AB while a search for his second successor was underway, retiring a second time in 2011.
“In discussing Carl-Gustaf’s career with other colleagues who worked closely with him over the years it quickly becomes apparent that Carl-Gustaf was a visionary business leader who saw the potential for HIP Powder Metallurgy products and who, personally, did much to develop this business in the oil and gas, power generation, marine propulsion, mining and other markets,” commented Dr Stephen J Mashl, FASM, Michigan Technological University.
“Those of us who continue to work in this field believe that there is still tremendous potential for growth in the field of HIP PM parts fabrication and it is obvious that we owe much to Carl-Gustaf Hjorth for his role in bringing our industry to its current state. Carl-Gustaf Hjorth’s long record of leadership, innovation and product development in the world of HIP Powder Metallurgy products will also live on in the minds and memories of his many friends and colleagues in our industry,” added Mashl.
Prepared with gratitude and respect to Carl-Gustaf Hjorth by Stephen Mashl, Rolf Andersson, Mats Petersson, John Hebeisen, George Romano and Martin Bjurström.