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Research and Technology

TWI has a long track record of original thinking and invention, having delivered significant innovations to industry over the course of our history.

For example, TWI invented the now widely used friction stir welding method, the crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) test for measuring fracture toughness and laser cutting technology for steels, and remains at the forefront of each of these, via methods for thick section welding, sour fracture testing and robotic decommissioning of contaminated nuclear facilities. Recent innovations include functional metal coatings for composites, non-destructive testing techniques for composites and polymer pipes, and long life electron sources for additive manufacturing.

TWI’s research is carried out across a number of different project types, acting confidentially on behalf of single Members or groups of Members with a shared interest, on behalf of the whole Membership to develop technologies they all have opportunity to exploit, and in collaboration with industry, other research and technology organisations and academic institutions.

TWI’s single client projects bring together experts from TWI and the Member to provide solutions directly focused on assisting the Member’s business and remaining as confidential as the Member wishes.

Our Core Research Programme (CRP) is a market-driven, annual, rolling schedule of research and development (R&D) projects, informed by TWI’s Industrial Member companies, that investigates specific, identified challenges being experienced in a broad range of industry sectors, involving different engineering-based technologies.

An in-depth report detailing the technical R&D work undertaken, together with outcomes, is produced for each CRP project, and these are made available solely to TWI Industrial Member companies, who contribute up to 50% of their annual fee to the CRP, as Industrial Member Reports.  However, in order to extend some of the knowledge and innovation out to wider industry, CRP Report Abstracts; derived from the full reports, and CRP Executive Summaries; produced at the start of a new CRP project, are publicly available.

TWI’s joint industry projects bring Member companies together, pooling resources and expertise to develop solutions with a mutual benefit through the completion of substantial research projects.

We are involved in a large body of publicly funded research, working with many partner organisations to develop commercially attractive technology and techniques that are to the economic benefit of the area whose government provides funding. With more than two decades of experience in initiating and delivering these projects, TWI is willing and able to build successful proposals and consortia with a broad range of organisations wishing to be involved in such activity.

The Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF), founded in 2012 and backed by Lloyd’s Register and BP, exists to promote research and innovation in structural integrity and non-destructive testing. SIRF provides industrial direction to the R&D performed within the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), a research hub on TWI’s site that provides postgraduate education within an industry-focused environment. SIRF and NSIRC were set up to address the UK engineering skills gap by delivering more than 500 post-graduate educated engineers into industry by 2025.

Further information

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