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Arc Processes and Welding Engineering

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Since its beginnings as the British Welding Research Association in 1946, TWI has been at the forefront of arc welding development.

Our achievements include developing carbon dioxide shielding for MIG/MAG welding, making the process viable for welding carbon steel, and building the first solid-state power sources, paving the way for thyristor and inverter technology.

With a team of 21 welding professionals, including seven highly qualified International Welding Engineers, the AWE team at TWI is qualified and experienced to provide expert guidance on any issue relating to the welding and joining of materials.


Supporting services

Facilities and equipment

Mechanised and automated variants of the above processes include the following:

  • Orbital TIG
  • Narrow-gap TIG
  • Robotic MIG/MAG and TIG welding/manipulation
  • Mechanised MIG and TIG cladding
  • Integrated column and boom submerged-arc welding systems

Research and development

 Concepts currently under research through our £4 million per annum Core Research Programme include the following:

  • Cold temper bead arc welding in the context of austenitic cladding on ferritic base metal
  • Additive manufacturing – generating information for arc-based additive manufacturing (AM) covering materials selection, material properties and microstructure, deposition rate and process economics and reliability
  • Weld monitoring – developing a system able to predicting or determining the incidence of defects in real time

The following are examples of successfully completed Core Research Programme projects:

TWI is often a member of consortia conducting publicly funded collaborative projects:

  • Clampit: developing a software system to optimise clamping design and welding sequence to minimise distortion
  • MARWIN: developing a cognitive computer vision-based welding robot to improve welding efficiency and product quality
  • JOINOX: developing empirical user-friendly guidelines to determine fitness for purpose of welded stainless steel surfaces, including effective post-weld cleaning strategies)
  • KRAKEN: developing a large additive subtractive hybrid machining system with adaptive control

We develop processes and procedures for specific applications, including feasibility studies (eg powder plasma arc welding) and process comparison and optimisation. We also work closely with equipment and consumables developers to study the viability, benefits and limitations of recently developed technologies.


We provide our Members with guidance on many topics relating to arc processes:

  • Selection and application of codes and standards
  • Specification, design, consumables and process selection
  • Troubleshooting weldability and fabrication issues
  • Repair procedure development, methodology and implementation
  • Quality assurance and auditing services
  • Litigation support and expert witness and arbitration
  • Health and safety advice

The above list is not exhaustive; email if there is another issue on which you require expertise. More information can be found in our Welding engineering section. For example, you can find out how TWI has been helping assist with the building of Hinkley Point C in Somerset.


  • Weldspec – welding procedure software for engineers and managers who track and manage welding procedures
  • Welderqual – welder qualification software to manage welder qualifications and enable managers to quickly identify the most suitable individual for a task
  • Welding co-ordinator – welding fabrication management software for full site-wide management and traceability of fabrication information
  • Welding estimator – a quick and easy-to-use cost estimation tool for welding procedures and projects

For more information on our software packages visit


Our personnel contribute expert advice to a number of national and international bodies and standards committees including the following:

  • HSE

  • WEE/6 and 28

  • GEL/106 Cenelec/TC26A

  • IIW Committee XII

For more information on any other topic, please email

For more information please email: