Since TWI's Asset Integrity Management team established itself some five years ago it has directed its effort largely towards the oil and gas sector as well as that of power generation. But that's about to change. Its success has snowballed. So much so that it has now spread its wings to the shipping, railways and biomass sectors. And from these areas three new projects have spawned.
RISPECT is a risk-based expert system for through-life ship structural inspection and maintenance, and new-build ship structural design. This FP7 project, with a budget of about �3.9 million and due for completion in June 2012, is aimed at ship owners and operators, repairers, inspection bodies and classification bodies.
Its main objective is to develop a decision-support tool to aid the structural integrity management of ships, both bulk carriers and tankers.
The scope of work involves developing a methodology for performing ship hull examination; adopting appropriate recording tools and standardisation of procedures in order to store inspection data pertaining to structural issues such as cracks, deformation, indents, coating conditions, corrosion and thickness reduction.
Such data from individual ships, including historical inspection data from a number of vessels will be stored in a Central Statistical Database in a form ensuring confidentiality.�
The database is envisaged to be populated with information coming from all the different participants involved during the life-cycle of a ship; shipyards, shipping companies, classification societies, inspection and service societies, and addressed principally for managerial use.
RISPECT will provide a better methodology that will combine detailed analysis of long term experience involving many ships. It will provide useful and justifiable risk-based inspection plans and design guidance. This will lead to better inspections, more important defects exposure and repair, better design, fewer pollution incidents and increased safety.
MAINLINE is another FP7 project, with a budget of about �4 million, a start date in October 2011 and duration of three years. It is aimed at railway asset managers. It relates to maintenance, renewal and improvement of rail transport infrastructure to reduce economic and environmental impacts.
The MAINLINE work will develop methods and tools that will contribute to a more cost efficient and effective improvement of European railway infrastructure namely earthworks, bridges, track and tunnels, based on whole life considerations.
The project aims to:
facilitate the uptake of improved assessment techniques and life extension
improve understanding of relevant damage and deterioration mechanisms and their effect on asset performance
identify and implement new cost effective replacement in construction methods and logistics, bearing in mind the logistics and operational constraints across an expanding railway network, and the associated political aspirations towards a sustainable low carbon society
identify and compare new inspection and monitoring technologies in order to complement or replace existing techniques
develop methods for determining the whole life environmental and economic impact from track and infrastructure maintenance and renewal through the use of various scenarios and management policies.
REFERTIL is the project name given to a programme of work on 'Improvement of comprehensive bio-waste transformation and nutrient recovery treatment processes for production of combined natural products'. This FP7 project, has a budget of about �4 million. It started in October 2011 and will last for four years, and is aimed at biomass conversion technology providers, operators and managers.
REFERTIL's objectives include evaluating currently used biomass treatment facilities based on identified criteria such as measures of performance of the plant and equipment involved, environmental impact, and health and safety.
The assessment will identify dominant degradation mechanisms and developing inspection and maintenance routines. This will result in recommendations for improvement and guidelines for reducing through life cycle costs of these assets. The project will involve evaluation of several biomass to biochar processing technologies and a number of compost treatment technologies. Other parts of the project will assess the bio-products (compost and biochar) from these processing facilities to determine their efficiency in terms of recovery of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
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