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In conjunction with the ManOS (Cost-Effective Manufacture of Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations)project, and specifically to showcase its reduced pressure EB gun and the capabilities of mobile local vacuum sliding seal technology, TWI hosted a recent seminar and technical demonstration at its Low Carbon Energy Manufacturing Technology Centre in Middlesbrough, UK. The event on 19 April 2012 was attended by partners of the ManOS project (see below) and delegates from UK industry and academia with interests in large-scale steel fabrication and offshore wind power engineering.

Chris Punshon, Consultant, Electron Beam Processes at TWI began by presenting the progress made by the ManOS project, which aims to enable faster, efficient and cheaper production of offshore marine foundations. The project, funded by the UK TSB, has successfully developed and demonstrated EB wedding in thick section steels with offshore application relevance and validated the resulting metallurgical and mechanical properties. The ManOS partnership comprises TWI, Nippon Steel Corporation and Aquasium Technology Ltd, with KBR acting in a consultative role.

Chris introduced the focus of the event – the demonstration of a full penetration, 60mm wall thickness, 1300mm longitudinal seam weld in a 2350mm diameter S355 steel tubular (representative of an offshore wind turbine tower foundation structure), which took less than 6 minutes to complete.

Prof. T Ishikawa, Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan, concluded by presenting delegates with details of a proprietary grade of S355 steel, which has recently been granted Germanischer Lloyd’s approval for EB welding due to its excellent as-welded and post-weld heat treated properties, including exemplary sub-zero impact toughness.

All attendees noted that they were impressed by the demonstration, the technology supporting the EB welding capability, and the opportunities that this mobile variant brings for application of EB welding to large structures where conventional EB has been prohibited due to the need to operate within a vacuum chamber.

Please contact Chris Punshon chris.punshon@twi.co.uk for further details or if you wish to explore this technology further for your applications.

Photo caption:
A steel tubular, representative of a wind turbine tower foundation structure, in preparation for out-of-vacuum EB welding[/i

Notes to Editors

The EB mobile local vacuum sliding seal is under continuing development, funded by TWI's Core Research Programme. Further work during 2012 will include application to 80mm thick carbon-manganese steel and 60mm thick stainless steel, large-scale circumferential welding and further ruggedisation of the laboratory equipment.

The ManOS project is supported by funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Energy Technologies Call, for which this event formed part of the dissemination of results.

About TWI

TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in solving problems in all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management technologies.

Established at Abington, Cambridge, UK in 1946 and with several facilities across the globe, the company has a first class reputation for service though its teams of internationally respected consultants, scientists, engineers and support staff, whose knowledge and expertise are available to its Members as and when they require.

The company employs over 700 staff, serving 700 Member companies across 4500 sites in 80 countries. TWI also houses a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of 6000 individuals.

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