Cammell Laird led partnership wins £1.5m Government tender for electron beam welding research
Merseyside shipyard and engineering services company Cammell Laird has won a £1.5million tender with Innovate UK to develop electron beam welding technology in the ship building, offshore and nuclear sectors.
Cammell Laird will act as primary contractor to test the equipment at its Birkenhead site using its team of welders and engineers, together with partners TWI Limited which will provide research (see background), and support in welding codes and standards. The third partner, Cambridge Vacuum Engineering will manufacture the electron beam machine.
John Eldridge principal engineer at Cammell Laird said the two-year project will assess whether electron beam welding can be made to work in a large-scale production environment such as shipbuilding and the construction of nuclear power plants.
Mr Eldridge said lab tests at TWI have shown huge potential benefits of large scale electron beam welding.
Cambridge Vacuum Engineering managing director Bob Nicolson said the large scale electron welding machine will now begin construction following the winning of the tender and will be delivered to Cammell Laird in around 12 months.
“Our revolutionary EBFlow technology, fully developed and pioneered in Britain, will transform the productivity of fabrication processes throughout the world of heavy engineering. In many cases the speed of welding can be 30 times faster than current methods. By reducing the cost of ‘thick section’ steel structures commonly used in nuclear as well as a range of other industrial sectors, EBFLow will help play a vital role in the development of the global low carbon economy.”