Fellow CEng Alan Gifford worked for International Combustion Ltd, a major engineering business based at Derby offering products for the nuclear engineering industry, for over 40 years.
With 2023 marking the 100th anniversary of The Welding Institute, Alan sent us an excerpt from International Combustion Ltd’s house magazine, ‘The Peak.’
The excerpt, from a 1959 issue of the magazine, was written by section leader John Adams and dates from a time when the company’s welding department had just appointed their first welding engineer, E.K. Keefe.
While Mr Keefe’s role would be taken over by Alan around 18 months later, John Adams recognised the importance of welding to International Combustion’s future enterprises so attended a course run by The Institute of Welding at Princes gate in London.
Following the course, John visited The British Welding Research Association (BWRA - a forerunner to today’s TWI) at Abington near Cambridge.
It was here that he was shown around the laboratories and was given the chance to see the welding process of metals, which he enjoyed.
It was this visit that formed the basis for John’s article in the Peak, which included details of research being carried out at the time and the importance of the work of the BWRA.
He also highlighted some confidential research work on ‘Sno Cats,’ which were tracked vehicles used for a transantarctic expedition. The BWRA were asked to test the tracks following their failure and found that the welds had been “made without the necessary control over welding conditions,” going on to note that, “none of the welds failed” after the BWRA had machined out the original joins and re-welded them under strict metallurgical control.
John’s article also highlighted the importance of the work of the BWRA at the time given the absence of instruction in welding technology at universities and technical colleges, adding that, “it is left to industrial firms to provide this training, but the British Welding Research Association are investigating the formation of a new design advisory service.”
The article shows how the Institute and BWRA were proving influential for industry at the time, and you can read the article as forwarded by Fellow CEng Alan Gifford, in full, below:
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