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Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

Posted November 21, 2009 8:13 AM

Welding failures have resulted in catastrophic consequences. For instance, a defective 6 mm weld wrecked the Norwegian Alexander Kielland semi-submersible drilling rig, taking 123 lives in 1980. To prevent similar future disasters and economic consequences of possible weld failures in gas transport and deep-sea oil equipment, European researchers are spending €4.8 million ($7.2 million USD) on the MintWeld project. Do you think more accurate modeling of the welding process from the atomic scale up could help prevent weld failures?

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#1

Re: Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

11/21/2009 6:47 PM

It might.

What sorts of weld procedure qualifications, personnel qualifications, fit-up inspections, and weld testing (dye, magnetic particle, ultrasound, x-ray), were used in the first place?

Sometimes it works to do what is already known, rather than throw all faith into this or that fancy new technology.

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#2

Re: Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

11/22/2009 1:04 AM

However, let us not lose sight of the importance of maintaining the possibility of a welding accident. Without welding accidents, no housing complex, shopping mall, or multi-purpose complex would ever be built.

Every time some speculative fool starts one of these projects during a bubble, then suddenly finds out that there's been a burst, and there's absolutely no way he's going to get anyone to pay $3,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, a sudden "welding accident" occurs. Of course, this usually destroys the entire building site, leaving some insurance company to bail his greedy ass out.

This seems to be a major cause of fire in the Silicon Valley... And has become predictable.

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#3

Re: Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

11/22/2009 2:04 PM

I agree with Tornado.

use what is already in place insead of passing more requirements that may also not be implemented.

p911

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#4

Re: Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

11/23/2009 11:10 AM

Looks like they will need to use some of tcmtech's simulation software.

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#5

Re: Preventing Catastrophic Welding Failures

11/23/2009 6:12 PM

Even if they produce all steel and consumables in a laboratory, and do all the welding with robots and real-time monitoring of all the parameters in a laboratory, Murphy's Law will still ensure that there will be failures.

There is nothing foolproof on this planet, with the possible exception of gravity. If we try to build to zero failure potential, then nothing will be built. There is the point of diminishing returns where more time and energy is expended than will be made up for by the increase in production.

Build as best as you practically can, and then monitor and repair as required. Failure in any one of these 3 areas will compromise its integrity.

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