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  • 31 Mar 2020 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    As you are aware there are a number of new medical facilities being built at ExCel London as well as two other Field Hospitals in Manchester and Birmingham to treat patients with COVID-19.

    Under normal operations, engineers and technicians work quietly in the background. With such unprecedented circumstances before us, this is no-longer the case. The effective delivery of clinical care will only be achieved if engineers and technicians work alongside their clinical counterparts.

    We have been approached by The Royal Academy of Engineering and NHS England to ask for volunteers to help with a range of engineering requirements that will enable them to continue to deliver frontline services.

    Time is of the essence and it is likely that volunteers will be needed on site and in the regional hospitals within the week, if not within the next few days. We have been asked to share this letter along with a job description. Within the letter is a link to a form which volunteers must complete to register their skills and offer. The Royal Academy of Engineering has agreed to maintain this database but selection will be made by the NHS Team based on need.

    On behalf of NHS England and The Welding Institute, thank you for your commitment to our profession and all that is stands for, in these extraordinary times.

  • 30 Mar 2020 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    The Welding Institute would like to congratulate David Hews on his appointment as our new West Midlands Branch Secretary.

    Branch Secretary is a vital role which ensures that our branches are able to operate effectively and productively. The role varies depending on the location of the branch, however, the position primarily entails supporting the Chairperson of the branch to ensure the smooth running of all branch related activities.

    To find out more about what it means to be Branch Secretary or to find out about our branches click here.


  • 30 Mar 2020 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    The Welding Institute’s Northumbria Branch has welcomed its new chairman, Stuart Banks.

    The Branch Chair plays a strategic role in representing the vision and purpose of The Welding Institute. They ensure that the committee functions effectively to allow the organisation of the branch to meet the needs of its Members. Overall, they hold a significant place in ensuring the success of Branches through allowing them to work cohesively with The Welding Institute.

    To find out more about what it means to be a Branch Secretary or to find out more about our Branches click here.


  • 30 Mar 2020 3:28 PM | Anonymous

    The annual ‘Defect Detectives’ educational outreach event was hosted by TWI Ltd at its Cambridge site for a third year. The event was jointly organised, with Matt Haslett, our Younger Members Committee Chairman, representing The Welding Institute in inspiring the young minds of the year 5 pupils from Fulbourn Primary School by bringing STEM subjects to life.

    The 50 year 5 pupils were tasked with an activity involving robotic inspection using Lego Mindstorms EV3 Kits and programming equipment. The students worked in small teams of 4 to 5 with volunteer experts from TWI Ltd and NSIRC helping them out. The aim was to build and program a robot which could detect defects along a simulated weld line.

    Their work was put to the test at the end of the day with a final competition consisting of the students’ robots travelling along a simulated weld line, fitted with defects, to test how successfully and accurately the robots could detect the defects.

    Categories and winners:

    Best design – Dare to Create

    Best teamwork – NEVFF

    Top Team – Dixie

    The Welding Institute congratulates all pupils who took part in the competition for their enthusiasm towards their work!

    Educational outreach days like this allow young pupils to understand real life applications of engineering and what it actually means to be an engineer. It allows the stereotypes and misconceptions of the engineering industry to be challenged by young minds as they are given the opportunity to see the extent of the engineering industry, all whilst promoting teamwork and design skills.

    The successful event was jointly organised by Catherine Condie, Matt Haslett, Gabriela Gallegos and Ameni Lounissi with the support of 20 volunteers from TWI.

    The event was organised in association with TWI, Granta Centre, NSIRC volunteers, and the Tipper Group, including support from the UK Robogals series. Cambridge Launchpad, a movement that aims to inspire people into STEM careers, were responsible for organising the ‘Defect Detectives’ engineering challenge.


  • 30 Mar 2020 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    The Welding Institute is pleased to announce that TWI Team Manager, Miles Weston is the recipient of the Young Engineer Award 2020!

    The Young Engineer Award is awarded to an individual aged under 40 who has contributed significantly to the advancement of welding technology throughout the five years preceding the year of the award. The annual award was introduced by ESAB (UK) in recognition of Leslie Lidstone, who was a managing director for the company and whose work significantly contributed towards the welding industry within the UK and Sweden.

    TWI’s Miles Weston has been awarded the Young Engineer’s Award due to his work and experience within the past five years. This includes his progression from the role of Project Leader to Team Manager at TWI. Within these roles, Miles has led and managed the development of an advanced inspection technique, leading to the technique now being developed with multiple sector industrial collaborators to standardise and accept it. Miles has also contributed to the development of students through his involvement with students at Strathclyde University where he takes on the role of a PhD external examiner. This, combined with the 17 journal publications (with over 90 citations) that he has produced, exemplified Miles as a worthy recipient of the Young Engineer Award.

    Find out more about the Young Engineer Award here.


  • 30 Mar 2020 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    The Richard Dolby Rolls-Royce Prize 2020 has been awarded to TWI Project Leader Madie Allen.

    The Richard Dolby Rolls-Royce Prize is awarded biennially, by The Welding Institute’s Younger Members Committee, to an individual who has demonstrated success in, and enthusiasm for, welding, joining and/or materials engineering within the first five years of finishing their full time education.

    The award is judged based upon a technical report that candidates have submitted, along with a short presentation on the project subject.

    Madie Allen is a PhD student, in coordination with NSIRC and Brunel University and received the award for her project, ‘Predicting the microstructure of metal additively manufactured parts.’ This project looked at the wide-scale adoption of additive manufacturing and aimed to help address the associated issues with this technique through developing and validating numerical models that can predict the microstructure of metal additively manufactured parts.

    The Welding Institute congratulates Madie Allen for her work and commitment in receiving the Richard Dolby Rolls-Royce Prize 2020.

    To find out more about the Richard Dolby Rolls Royce Prize click here.


  • 30 Mar 2020 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    The Outstanding Personal Contribution Award was established in memory of Harry Brooker, an engineer who, during the 1930s, played an important role in introducing low temperature silver brazing alloys into British industry. The award is sponsored by Johnson Matthey plc where, later in his career, Harry Brooker became a Chief Executive and Managing Director.

    During his time at Johnson Matthey plc, Harry Brooker encouraged and promoted research with The Welding Institute on resistance welding of aluminium. Harry Brooker’s work and support of the joining industry is the basis for the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award, with recipients needing to demonstrate their personal contribution to the science, technology and industrial exploitation of materials joining.

    The award commends an individual who has demonstrated high industrial research or educational responsibility positively and beneficially to encourage the advancement of materials joining technology.

    The winner of the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award 2020 is Professor Jicai Feng, who works for the Chinese Institute for Welding. Professor Feng has been awarded the Outstanding Personal Contribution award due to his commitment towards industry development related to joining processes. Professor Feng has both a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and a Masters of Engineering (MEng) degree. He achieved a PhD from the University of Osaka and was briefly the president of the China Welding Society. His experience and work underline the significant impact that he has had, including:

    • Inventing over 190 Chinese patents
    • Managing projects involving producing solutions associated with joining dissimilar materials in industrial applications
    • Research focused on the joining of dissimilar materials including joining ceramics with metals and dissimilar metals, using processes including brazing, welding brazing and diffusion bonding
    • Publishing over 450 SCI-indexed papers

    The Welding Institute would like to congratulate Professor Jicai Feng on winning the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award.

    To find out more about the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award please click here.


  • 30 Mar 2020 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    What is Hot Cracking?

    Hot cracking (also known as solidification cracking) is the formation process of shrinkage cracks during the solidification period of a weld metal.

    How does Hot Cracking Occur?

    This process takes place in the fusion zone of a weld. It occurs when the supply of liquid weld metal available is not enough to fill the spaces between the solidifying weld metal opened up by shrinkage strains.

    The cracks form either immediately after the welds are created or when welds are in progress. Depending on the location and conditions where the cracks form, they can be divided into solidification cracks (SC) when they form in the weld metal or liquation cracks (LC) when they form in heat affected zones.

    Factors Affecting Hot Cracking

    • The force/strain on the weld pool is high
    • A blockage or insufficient supply of weld liquid (filler metals/material) prevents areas being reached
    • Impurities are present
    • High temperature conditions (1200 degrees Celsius)

    How do you stop Hot Cracks?

    Hot cracking can be prevented through the implementation of different techniques. These include:

    • Reducing heat input
    • Reduce the strain put onto the solidifying weld metal
    • Material selection
    • Use of appropriate welding procedures and welding parameters

    What Causes Weld Cracking?

    Weld cracking is caused by various processes including rapid cooling, internal stresses being exceeded either by the weld or base metal (or the combination of both).

    What is the Relevance of Hot Cracking?

    Hot cracking is prevalent in the process of welding and can have many industrial implications if not monitored or mitigated effectively. TWI Ltd has extensive experience with researching and working to prevent hot cracking. Examples include:

    TWI has knowledge in the occurrence of hot cracking in stainless steels and austenitic stainless steels.

    TWI carried out a project looking into the cause of failure of an industrial gas turbine which involved looking at the consequences of hot cracking occurring.

    TWI is researching the potential uses of Altair Inspire Cast to help predict temperature distribution to predict regions where hot cracking may occur.

    TWI has produced a report looking into ‘Laser Welding of Crack Susceptible Materials Using Tailored Energy Distributions.’ The report looks into the hot crack susceptibility of materials and the processes involved.

    TWI report looks at the procedures for reducing solidification cracking in CO2 laser welds in structural steel.

    A report produced by TWI investigates the factors affecting solidification cracking during electron beam welding.


  • 30 Mar 2020 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    What is Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)?

    Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is the propagation of often branched cracks in a material within a corrosive environment, potentially leading to the catastrophic failure of a component/structure, as the cracking appears brittle. This form of corrosion can occur as either intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) or as transgranular stress corrosion cracking (TGSCC):

    Intergranular Stress Corrosion Cracking (IGSCC) – is where the fracture (crack) forms along the grain boundaries of a material.

    Transgranular Stress Corrosion Cracking (TGSCC) – is where the fracture (crack) forms through the grains of a material (and not along the boundaries).


    What Causes Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)?

    There are three main factors that work in combination to affect and cause the stress corrosion cracking of a material. These include:

    Material

    Stress corrosion cracking can be caused by the type of material being used. This is because different materials are more/less susceptible to stress corrosion cracking than others. Poor material selection can lead to stress corrosion cracking due to the material being susceptible to SCC in the corrosive environment that it is operating in.

    Environment

    The service environment that the material is operating within can contain chemical species which cause stress corrosion cracking to occur in different materials. As a result, material and environment selection should be considered together to avoid stress corrosion cracking.

    Tensile Stress

    This involves a material experiencing stress or strain from either residual stress or the direct application of stress or pressure. In the case of stress corrosion cracking, crack propagation is caused by mostly static stress. In order for the crack to be regarded as a stress corrosion crack there needs to be the presence of factors relating to materials and environment too.


    How to Prevent Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)

    Material

    One of the main prevention methods involves using a non-susceptible material. This is an important way of controlling SCC as it prevents this form of corrosion from occurring in the service environment that the material is operating in. However, this prevention method is not always an option and so it may be more applicable to control the service environment that the material is required to operate in.

    Environment

    Another preventive method involves the mitigation of the service environment by removing, limiting or replacing the relevant corrosive chemical species. This prevents stress corrosion cracking from occurring. However, this can be a very difficult factor to control if corrosive species are naturally present in the environment where the material is located, for example austenitic stainless steels in seawater.

    Other methods of prevention include controlling the temperature to ensure that it does not exceed a certain temperature, including fluctuations.

    Stress/Strain

    Removing or reducing the tensile stress placed on a component is another way of preventing the occurrence of stress corrosion cracking. One of the main downsides of this preventative method is that it can be difficult to control the stress that a material experiences at regions where stress can concentrate during fabrication or operation.


    TWI and Stress Corrosion Cracking

    Stress Corrosion Cracking is applicable within different industries and TWI Ltd has extensive experience with stress corrosion cracking, including its detection and prevention:

    TWI investigated the weld overlay cladding used to protect stainless steel in pipelines and pressure vessels against corrosive fluids.

    TWI launched a joint industry project looking at intergranular stress corrosion cracking. It looked at the understanding and avoidance of this type of stress corrosion cracking within supermartensitic stainless steels used in oil and gas production.

    A TWI core research programme looked at atmospheric induced stress corrosion cracking in welded stainless steels. The research programme looked at the exposure of welded austenitic stainless steel structures to airborne salt particles.

    A testing programme was conducted on wrought aluminium-magnesium alloys to understand their susceptibility to stress corrosion cracking.

    The ripple load test is a new method developed to assess the cracking of corrosion resistant alloys.

    A joint industry project was initiated to understand the conditions under which stainless steels can experience hydrogen-induced stress corrosion cracking (HISC).

    TWI was contracted to perform an operational review of the likelihood of chloride stress corrosion cracking in duplex stainless steels.

    A study was undertaken to investigate how welding can impact the occurrence of stress corrosion cracking on a titanium-stabilised ferritic stainless steel sheet plate. The study looked into the potential benefits of using consumables similar to the composition of the parent material. 

    Tests were carried out on a steam turbine in a chemical fertiliser factory to avoid further stress corrosion cracking.


    Membership of The Welding Institute

    As a Member of The Welding Institute, we can offer you support with our resources regarding different engineering topics. This includes access to technical knowledge on stress corrosion cracking and allied topics. Other membership benefits include:

    • Access to the TWI library and e-library
    • Access to Technical Group Meetings
    • Discount on TWI Training and Examination courses

    Click here to view to view all professional membership benefits.


  • 30 Mar 2020 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    What is Anodising?

    Anodising is an electrochemical surface treatment used to promote and increase the formation of an anodic oxide coating on a base material. For example, aluminium and its alloys are most commonly anodised to produce an aluminium oxide coating.

    The anodising process involves submerging aluminium or an aluminium alloy into an electrolytic solution, such as sulphuric acid, alongside a cathode. When the aluminium alloy is fully submerged, an electrical current is passed through the aluminium, creating a cell. In this process, the aluminium takes on the role of the anode, therefore readily oxidising within the electrolytic solution. Anodising causes the aluminium to oxidise, therefore forming a thick layer of aluminium oxide (oxide film). This is opposed to the layer that would have naturally occurred which would be thinner and less effective.

    What does Anodising Aluminium mean?

    Anodising aluminium is a process used to produce a thick oxide film (anodic layer) for the aluminium/its alloys. This process is used to improve the corrosion and erosion resistance of the surface of the metal, whilst also decreasing its thermal and electrical conductivity.

    Why is Anodising used?

    The process of anodising is used to produce a thicker, more efficient aluminium oxide film (anodic layer) within a controlled process/environment as opposed to the layer of aluminium oxide that would occur naturally. The benefits of anodising a material such as aluminium include the increased corrosion and wear resistance of the oxide film (anodic layer) which is produced. This process forms a coloured layer on top of the material.

    What Materials can be Anodised?

    Aluminium and its alloys are the most common materials to be anodised, however, other materials that can undergo anodising include, steel, hafnium, zinc, titanium and magnesium.

    Industry Applications

    Anodising is used and applied within multiple different industries. TWI Ltd has experience in the process, including:

    TWI has experience with the colour matching properties/benefit of anodising.

    TWI has knowledge and experience with the recommended methods of surface preparation of aluminium alloys.

    TWI carried out an Industrial Member report looking into the environmental testing of polymer coated material joints. It looked at the surface pre-treatment of aluminium using anodising.

    TWI have produced published papers looking into the joining of polyethersulphone to aluminium by ultrasonic welding. This looked at reducing joints with poor mechanical integrity using anodising.

    TWI’s Surface Engineering and Coating Laboratory supports the development and application of new coatings that use anodising to create resistance to corrosion.


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