Using fracture mechanics to simulate conditions in welded aluminium silos has shown a TWI member company that it can increase efficiency whilst maintaining high production standards.
The Industrial Member is renowned for fabrication of high quality aluminium silos and handling systems. The company approached TWI for advice on whether full penetration welding procedures were necessary in terms of the structural performance of its vessels.
TWI carried out a series of fracture toughness tests on welded aluminium test panels, fabricated by the member company.
A fracture mechanics assessment was performed, to the BSI PD6493 (a forerunner of BS 7910) procedures, to determine the influence of any lack of penetration on the structural integrity of a typical silo.
The Industrial Member was encouraged by the results which showed that the combination of high toughness and low loads associated with the silo meant that significant lack of penetration could be tolerated, reducing the requirement for weld repair. In addition, this work showed that it is possible to introduce more cost-effective welding procedures in the future.
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