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Spot the evidence

Back to Pre-1998 Articles Adhesive technology demonstration centre Aged samples lend added credence to safety codes Arc welding Demonstration Centre shows best practice in action Boiler takes the heat in comfort Conductive adhesive for ultrasound catheter cracking-risk-in-steel-pipelines-from-external-hard-zones Engineering critical assessment of pipeline welds Far East fitness-for-purpose check First UK Research Council contract for TWI Friction stir welding of titanium Help with adhesives training Joining demonstration centres in industry Joining Forces success in Belfast Joints take 10 seconds in the microwave LIVEMAN - Advanced joining processes for lightweight vehicle manufacture Making calculations easier 'Mildly sour' environment project saves half a million pounds New standard for weld fracture toughness testing Novel method joins plastic pipes Plastics fume - new findings released Project saves time and money for Amerada Hess Small firms seize no-cost reviews and low-cost trials South East Asia ACFM course Space Shuttle technology transferred to power generation industry Spot the evidence Structural integrity assured for Liverpool Bay Supporting technology on the Indian sub-continent Technology demonstrators show best practice in action Thermomechanical material processing by friction [friction pillar processing] 'Tubestress' measures residual stresses in parts that other equipment cannot reach TWI enhances on-stream inspection service Underwater welding work expands at TWI North Wider recognition for welding inspectors

Spot the evidence

Connect, 1996 articles

On behalf of Essex Police TWI has provided substantiating court evidence leading to successful prosecution of an individual for car theft

Close inspection of 'repair' welds in an estate car reveals a cover-up
Close inspection of 'repair' welds in an estate car reveals a cover-up

At the first hearing of the case the jury had been unable to reach a unanimous decision, so the Home Office Forensic Department suggested that specialist help was sought from TWI as experts in materials joining.

To proceed, the police needed expert examination of several welds in a Ford Sierra Estate car. The defendant claimed that he had rebuilt this car from a damaged vehicle, replacing the wings and respraying the whole vehicle. Thus, examination of the welds attaching the outer wing panels to the main body would provide a clear indication of the truth.

There was indeed a line of recent MIG spot welds along the top of each wing panel in the bonnet drip groove, suggesting a repair. But were these part of a genuine rebuild or added deliberately to confuse and mislead?

TWI experts inspected the vehicle using a mirror to access hidden areas. They found burn marks on the underside of the so-called repair MIG welds which had not been resprayed. These coincided with the position of the original factory resistance spot welds on the inner wing, and indicated that the MIG welds were made on top of original spot welds. The wings had therefore not been replaced. Confirmation of this was made by investigating welds securing the wings at their lower edges, and around the door hinge. These were shown to be original factory-made welds.

Other illegal changes included replacement of the original identification number on the floor panel, and etching of the registration number from the windows - decorative stickers were masking these areas.

Using this evidence and aided by the presence of two TWI specialists in court, the police proved without a doubt that the car in question was stolen.

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