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Exceptional metals expertise.

With more than 40 years of experience, Sutherlin Consulting focuses specifically on titanium, zirconium, niobium and tantalum. We help you select and procure these materials, investigate and analyze failed components, assist with fabrication procedures, and review customer specifications and order requirements. Our training seminars cover all aspects of reactive and refractory metals, welding (including AWS processes), equipment inspection, and fabrication and heat treatment of reactive metals.

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Our services.

We provide metallurgical technical support, including assistance in material selection, corrosion and/or failure analysis, fabrication, welding and equipment inspection. We also provide education and training services for chemical producers, fabricators, engineering companies, inspection companies, government agencies and metal producers.


Our consulting services cover, among other topics, the technical review of purchasing requirements, fabrication processes, design criteria, corrosion questions and concerns, welding requirements and qualification, weld filler metal requirements, equipment inspection, equipment cleaning options, equipment repair documents, heat-treatment specifications, handling, and guidance for the proper disposal or recycle of materials.


We conduct training classes and seminars, worldwide, on all aspects of reactive and refractory metals for use in industrial applications. Click here to view a comprehensive list of training subjects that are available.


We help you analyze reactive metal equipment and components that fail due to corrosion, mechanical damage, erosion/abrasion, fabrication, heat treatment, cleaning, start-up problems, etc.

The metallography images used on this site are courtesy of E-Imaging Consulting.

Solutions from experience.

Four decades working in the manufacturing of reactive and refractory metals, plus failure and corrosion analyses, fabrication, inspection, reactive-metal welding and applications engineering. That’s a lot of valuable experience and a lot of important expertise that Sutherlin Consulting brings to you. Click below to learn how Sutherlin helps ensure quality outcomes in the design, fabrication and use of these materials.

Rick Sutherlin, right, receives the 2013 ASTM “Russ Ogden” Award for outstanding technical or industrial contribution to the reactive or refractory metals industry.

Integrity matters.

Our mission is to serve our customers with the highest-quality metallurgical consulting assistance available in the reactive and refractory metals, namely titanium, zirconium, niobium and tantalum.

Why our focus on these four?

You can always find qualified laboratories and consulting firms that will provide technical assistance on stainless steels or nickel alloys (and other more common materials). Come to us when your requirements focus on titanium, zirconium, niobium and/or tantalum for use in industrial applications. Our expertise in these materials is unmatched.


Titanium has excellent resistance to corrosion in a wide variety of applications. Its high resistance to effects of salt water makes it useful in marine environments (desalination, marine valves and pumps, deep-sea submersibles, shipboard cooling and piping systems). It’s used in the production of organic acid, chlor-alkali, salt, oxidizing acids, nitric acid, hydrogen sulfide and chlorinated hydrocarbons, and in refineries for crude overheads, desulfurizing and process cooling water. It’s also used for metal finishing, ore extraction (plating, electrowinning, hydrometallurgical, anodizing), in pulp and paper (bleaching), and in power-generation processes.


Zirconium is a highly corrosion-resistant construction material that’s been used in industrial applications for over 50 years in all types of chemical equipment. Because of its excellent corrosion resistance, it’s used in the production of organics and organic acids, fertilizers, alcohols, dyes, foods, acetate fibers, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides and many other common products. Typical applications and environments might include organic media (acetic acid, formic acid), hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid for use in IPA and SBA (alcohol production), nitric acid environments for use in fertilizer production, and urea production.


Niobium is used in a number of critical applications in the chemical-process industry. These applications include mineral acids, many organic-solutions liquid metals and most salt solutions. Niobium is used in the overhead condenser and heat recovery sections of nitric acid and fertilizer production facilities and for evaporators in the chrome-plating industry to resist the hot, concentrated chromic acid media. Niobium was shown to resist the chromic acid environment, even when small amounts of free fluorides are present. Niobium has also been used over the past 20 years as rupture disks in chemical applications. 


Tantalum is a highly corrosion-resistant material used in many strong environments at elevated temperatures. It is often used in sulfuric acid at high temperatures to 150˚C and in concentrations up to approximately 98 percent. Previously known as tantalium, Tantalum is commonly used in hydrochloric acid through the full range of concentrations and temperatures up to 150˚C, where few materials will survive. Other acids where tantalum has been used is in phosphoric acid, organic compounds, nitric acid, and acid mixtures, such as aqua regia. Tantalum is often used in very severe chemical and pharmaceutical applications.

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Call 541-990-6814
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