Thu, 08 August, 2019
TWI’s latest Arkwright Scholars have successfully completed a project - organised by NSIRC PhD student Pedro Santos - looking at coating and cladding technologies. Sixth-form students Jack McKenna and Albert Borrell-Ribas were invited to TWI for the project experience as part of its Arkwright Scholars’ Programme for 2019.
The students were each awarded the competitive Arkwright Scholarship and the opportunity to be partnered with TWI after being assessed on their individual engineering projects and following an interview with Arkwright assessors.
Jack McKenna from Ampleforth College and Albert Borrell-Ribas from Comberton Village College have both just finished their first year of sixth form. The students previously visited TWI on two occasions – the first to assist with the ‘Defect Detectives’ workshop in February, and the second to take part in a ‘technology taster day’ in March. The aim of the recent project week was for the students to review what they had learned during the taster day and gain knowledge on a variety of aspects of coating and cladding technologies.
This included the ability to understand the need for coating and cladding in real-life applications, describe two different types of coating techniques and to explain their working principles, strengths, weaknesses and applications. The students could then compare coating/cladding performance against uncoated samples, describe at least one testing method used to characterise the coated samples and compile testing data to conduct a corrosion life assessment.
Across the five days, Jack and Albert took part in a range of hands-on activities and at the same time developed their project leadership skills while supported by TWI-based PhD student and apprentice volunteers. The practical work was designed to provide an insight into topics such as powder coating technologies, metallography, surface characterisation and corrosion testing. The Arkwright Scholars also helped prepare samples for two assessments – bend testing and delamination, and X-ray tomography and corrosion life. On the final day, they were able to analyse all data and produce an impressive technical report and a first-class oral presentation on their work to a TWI audience.
Both Arkwright Scholars were able to leave TWI with increased technical knowledge and the ability to use the information learned in their future studies.
Jack spoke on his week, saying, “I would like to thank you and everyone who participated in the programme to make it such an amazing experience.” Meanwhile, Albert said, “Many thanks for the whole experience. I really enjoyed the week and am looking forward to coming back next year.”