Connect, no. 141, March - April 2006, p.1
A new national research centre located in Port Talbot, Wales, is set to play a critical role in ensuring the future safety of materials and components used in virtually all areas of engineering - from aeroplanes to pacemakers.
The Non-destructive Testing (NDT) Validation Centre was officially opened on 6 February 2006 by The Rt Hon Alun Michael, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, and Andrew Davies, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Economic Development and Transport.
The Centre, managed by TWI and run in collaboration with Swansea Institute of Higher Education and Swansea University, is an independent organisation which will assess the accuracy and consistency of NDT methods used in manufacturing and construction. It will address the need to verify and improve the accuracy of inspection techniques and flaw detection to increase the confidence of manufacturers, regulators and users alike.
Housing a wide variety of state-of-the-art equipment, it is well placed to provide expertise in advanced inspection techniques such as digital radiography, laser shearography, eddy current array inspection, time of flight diffraction, phased array ultrasonics, immersion ultrasonics, thermography, tomography and long range guided wave ultrasonics.
Andrew Davies said the decision to site this UK resource in Wales reflected the high level of academic expertise within the field of materials technology and would complement existing R&Dmp;D carried out by TWI.
'It will bring tremendous benefits for industries and create a centre of world class expertise in Wales in a critical technology. This will be supported by Swansea Institute which is become the first higher education institution in the UK to establish an MSc in Non Destructive Testing and Evaluation.'
The Centre is an integral part of the National Composites Network - a DTI Knowledge Transfer Network, also managed by TWI - which facilitates knowledge sharing, networking and technology transfer.
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