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Subsea Pipe Joining Developments to be presented at SPT 2022

Wed, 21 September, 2022

Element Six Principal Research Scientist, Santonu Ghosh is due to present at the Subsea Pipeline Technology (SBT) Congress London 2022, 22-23 September.

Santonu’s presentation, ‘Advances in the Friction Stir Welding of Steel using PCBN Tools,’ will take place at 14:40 on day two of the congress and is based upon work completed alongside TWI and a paper co-authored by TWI Principal Project Leader, Stephen Cater.

Welding steel is an important part of fabrication for industry, including for subsea pipelines. Arc welding has long been the leading technology for this application but recent advances made by Element Six in the development of new friction stir welding (FSW) tool materials have allowed FSW to be used for steel joining.

The presentation will demonstrate how this new generation of tools allow consistently good welds to be made in a range of steels used by the pipeline sector. Developments have demonstrated consistent, defect-free fabrication in 6mm thick carbon steels, with the tools having a useful life of 60 metres. Further developments allowed for single-pass welds in steels of up to 12mm thick, with the potential for greater thickness welds depending on market requirements.

Benefits of these new tools and the use of FSW include enhanced weld strengths, ability to join hard-to-weld grades or dissimilar carbon and stainless steel materials, welding under water or oil, friction stir processing of existing arc welds to enhance fatigue life, and pipeline rehabilitation for the transporting of hydrogen and CO2.

SPT 2022

The SPT 2022 congress is bringing together people from across the offshore pipeline and subsea supply chain to share knowledge and demonstrate the latest advances in the sector. This includes sessions presenting technical papers, market analysis findings, industry trends and commercial opportunities.

RESURGAM Open Day at TWI Yorkshire

If you are unable to attend SPT 2022, you will have another chance to hear Santonu presenting on developments in the FSW of steel on 11 October 2022. He will be joined by TWI’s Jonathan Martin and Stephen Cater as well as Delft University PhD student Niels Troost for an Open Day at TWI Technology Centre (Yorkshire), discussing the latest technical developments in steel FSW.

Attendees will also be able hear about application cases for steel FSW and see a demonstration of the process in our laboratory.

You can find out more and register for the RESURGAM FSW of steel Open Day here.


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