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TWI has recently begun work on a collaborative project, FSWBot, which aims to develop a repair technique for subsea pipelines.
The project, sponsored by UKTI and led by Forth Engineering, seeks to integrate several state-of-the-art technologies including friction stir welding (FSW) and ultrasonic non-destructive testing (NDT) onto a robotic system that can be deployed to conduct repairs on pipelines without the need for the pipeline to be closed down for the duration of the repair.
The project will develop and demonstrate a prototype system capable of conducting a patch repair in steel to allow rectification of, for example, a corrosion induced defect.
If successful, it is envisaged that the system could be further developed to carry out a range of subsea repair and fabrication tasks.
The consortium would be interested in hearing from companies that might have an interest in such a system in order to take into account their potential needs and applications, thus helping to ensure that its benefits can be brought to as many industry sectors as possible.
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