Product Details Supplier Info More products

Leicester University is leading a EUR4.8m (GBP4.4m) engineering research project, which is using advanced thinking to transform the welding industry.

Under the project – which is funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme, involving 11 partners from seven countries – engineers and mathematicians are figuring out ways to save lives and money.

The failure of welds can start from minute imperfections but can lead to major cracks and flows.

The 11 European collaborators will attempt to understand the process better over this range of scales using computer modelling and incorporating knowledge gained from laboratory and industrial experiments.

This will be utilised to develop the technology for welding deep-sea gas and oil transportation systems, using a new computer modelling approach as opposed to a traditionally experimental method.

The joint research venture, Mintweld, will take place over a four-year period, with an aim to aid the manufacturing industry through the development of a commercial package.

Dr Hong Dong, Mintweld consortium leader from the Leicester University engineering department, said: ‘Welding is the most economical and effective way to join metals permanently and it is a vital component of our manufacturing economy.

‘It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of global domestic and engineering products contain welded joints.

‘In Europe, the welding industry has traditionally supported a diverse set of companies across the shipbuilding, pipeline, automotive, aerospace, defence and construction sectors.

‘Failures in welded components, such as deep-sea oil and gas transport systems, can result in lost production valued in several billion euros, while exposing the EU to increased petroleum prices and increasing EU dependency on oil and gas supplies from other regions.

‘This project will deliver an accurate, predictive and cost-effective modelling tool that will find widespread application in the relevant European metals industry for penetrating novel markets of high economic and strategic importance – an essential task to ensure that Europe maintains its competitiveness,’ added Dong.

The other institutions involved in the project are: University College Dublin in Ireland; Oxford University in the UK; NTNU in Norway; the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands; and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

Partners representing European steel industries are: Corus in the UK; the Welding Institute in the UK; the Institute of Welding in Poland; and Frenzak in Poland.

University of Leicester

View full profile