Connection R&D

Since 1985, VAM® connection development is a joint effort between Nippon Steel and Vallourec Group. Nippon Steel has been playing a key role in the engineering and development of the world’s reference selling premium connection called VAM TOP.


VAM products performances are systematically validated through full scale connection tests (in accordance with industry international standards) and FEA fit for purpose simulations. 

Nippon Steel together with Vallourec Group spend an enormous effort, both from an R&D as well as QA/QC point of view, to provide end users reliable premium connections suitable for the most challenging drilling and completion applications.

Nippon Steel Connection Testing Center is located in Wakayama, Japan and has more than 30 years experience in full scale testing of OCTG  connection.

Nippon Steel Connection Testing Center is fully equipped to perform various type of evaluation tests meant to verify connection VME (Von Mises Ellipse) envelope in accordance with Reference Industry Standards (Make & Break, Tension, Compression, Internal and External Pressure, Bending, Thermal Cycles, etc).

The main equipments used for these purposes are: 

  • Power Tong
  • Combined Load Tester
  • Thermal Cycle Tester (horizontal type)
  • Thermal Cycle Tester (vertical type)
  • Fatigue Tester (rotary type)
  • Static Load Internal Gas Leak Tester

Nippon Steel is the largest worldwide CRA OCTG supplier. CRA materials have a higher galling sensitivity; this is particularly true when the deployment conditions on the rig floor are sub ideal.

In the past, Nippon Steel was carefully evaluating connection resistance to-galling using short length make/break test facility in Amagasaki, Japan.

In 2008, Nippon Steel had a dedicated new test rig erected for full scale make/break ability evaluation in Nagaoka, Japan with SK ENGINEERING CO., LTD. This new facility can handle double jointed casings and is very effective for the development of user-friendly high performance connections as well as anti-galling performance evaluation.