The Plastics Joining Department at TWI recently completed two, one-day training courses at the Belfast plant of Irish Fertiliser Industries Ltd. Attended by thirteen maintenance staff, the tailor-made courses covered the principles and practice of butt fusion welding polyethylene pipe.
TWI plastics joining specialist Ian Froment told Connect that the butt fusion process, commonly used in chemical plant and water and gas distribution, is not always well understood by operators. 'Training in the use of correct procedures is essential to achieve consistently good quality welds and minimise the risk of in-service failures.'
The courses were designed to meet requirements specified by the company and were a mixture of basic theory - covering materials, welding processes and parameters - and hands-on work using the company's own butt fusion equipment which staff were already familiar with.
All maintenance staff at the company have achieved NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level 3. The butt fusion course was part of an Advanced Crafts Programme in line with NVQ Level 4.
'Course-members were taken through correct welding procedures and encouraged to test their welds and compare the results with those from welds made prior to training. The course concluded with a straightforward, multiple choice question paper and the award of a TWI Certificate of Competence in Butt Fusion Welding', Ian Froment explained.
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