Structural Integrity Codes for New Structures and Materials… Roundtable interview with six of our seminar speakers

Seminar Structural Integrity Codes for Novel Structures and Materials, 22 February 2023, London
Seminar Structural Integrity Codes for Novel Structures and Materials, 22 February 2023, London

Leading up to our Workshop Structural Integrity Codes for New Structures and Materials, we caught up with six of the event’s speakers as they discuss their roles and involvement with regards to the workshop, industry challenges and why it is important that engineers participate.

Q: Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement and experience working with structural integrity codes for new materials and structures?

Alan Barnes (AB): My role as Head of Regulatory Compliance at Thales ISR is to work with the military regulator on the Organizational Design Certification approach in the design and manufacture of parts and equipment using new materials and manufacturing techniques.

Emilio Martinez Paneda (EMP): I lead a research group at Imperial College London working to expand the frontiers of structural integrity and our findings continuously fuel the development of structural integrity codes.

Robert Winner (RW): Within Alstom’s global engineering organization I am a senior member of the engineering team responsible for bogie structures/structural integrity. I am registered as a UK expert at BSI for CEN WG2 dealing with structural codes for railway vehicle structures, I am also chair of the UK mirror group RAE/3-/11.

Paolo Davies (PD): I am a national expert in Additive Manufacturing (AM) with >15 years of experience in the production of metal powders for AM and I participate in the joint meetings of the ISO/TC 261 AMT/8 and ASTM F42 committees (a relatively new experience).

Tim Camp (TC): I participate in the development of design standards for wind turbine structures as co-convenor of the IEC committee responsible for the international design standard for bottom-mounted offshore wind turbines. This builds on previous work defining design methods for offshore wind turbines, developing software for wind turbine load analysis and large-scale load measurements.

Julian John (JJ): Use of codes and other evaluation procedures to evaluate and prove a wide variety of nuclear power plant components.

Q: What is the number one challenge facing engineers working with structural integrity codes for new materials and structures?

AB: The lack of historical evidence of use to allow for clear standardization of design and manufacturing principles to be applied when considering their use.

EMP: The greatest challenges are undoubtedly those arising from the interaction of metals with aggressive environments, such as corrosive environments or exposure to hydrogen. This is a challenging area from both a scientific and engineering perspective and improvements are needed to prevent catastrophic failures and optimize design and durability.

RW: The number one challenge for engineers working with structural integrity codes for new materials and structures for rail vehicle structures is to ensure that the requirements and criteria defined in the codes are up to date (state of the art) and that the codes are relevant for taking into account the specificities of the railway industry, such as design and manufacturing standards and operational considerations.

DP: There are very few materials and even fewer standards associated with AM, which may limit implementation.

CT: Structural loading of wind turbines is a complex function of stochastic wind and wave loads, structural dynamics, and turbine control system actions. Capturing the effects of all input variables, while not resulting in an overly conservative design envelope, is a significant challenge.

JJ: Obtain adequate detailed material data for high temperature applications.

Q: Where do you see there being significant developments in structural integrity codes for new materials and structures over the next five years?

AB: As more products are designed, manufactured and put into service, more evidence of design integrity will become available to reinforce traditional and digital methods of standardized practice.

EMP: One sector that is assuming particular importance is that of hydrogen storage and transport. Metals undergo a significant degradation of ductility and toughness in the presence of hydrogen and this is undoubtedly one of the greatest threats to the promise that hydrogen holds for the decarbonisation of society. Many questions about structural integrity have emerged (can existing pipelines carry hydrogen?) and we now have the tools and understanding to answer these questions.

RW: The introduction of new codes/processes for us to enable the introduction of new materials (e.g. composites) and new manufacturing processes (e.g. additive manufacturing techniques).

DP: The joint work of ISO and ASTM is expected to increase the number of standardized materials over this period.

CT: I see probabilistic design methods used more widely.

JJ: Introducing probabilistic evaluation methodologies in design codes.

Q: What can engineers expect from your presentation at the event?

AB: I am not an expert in design, manufacturing, materials or structures. My presentation will attempt to describe the MAA regulatory framework in which the adoption and use of these principles are to be applied.

EMP: I will illustrate our efforts to extend the success of “virtual testing” to components and structures exposed to hydrogen. We have been working for several years on the development of computational methods to predict the entry of hydrogen into metals, the diffusion of hydrogen inside the metal and the subsequent nucleation and growth of cracks, assisted by hydrogen. We have worked closely with industrial partners to leverage this knowledge and tools to establish best practices for the design and readiness for service assessment of hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure.

RW: An overview of some of the main structural codes (past, present and future) used for railway vehicle structures with a specific focus on bogie structures.

DP: An introduction to AM, including new techniques and the production of metal powders, as the main raw material. An overview of the alloys produced for AM and a list of the latest standards available with some examples.

CT: I hope to show what makes structural design of wind turbines such an interesting challenge and to highlight the role that design standards have in guiding engineers through this process.

JJ: A summary of the codes we have used, as well as the R5 and R6 assessment procedures and how they play an important role in supporting structural integrity in UK nuclear installations.

Q: What are you most excited to attend and present at this event?

AB: I am interested in hearing more about this technology from specialists and understanding the maturity of thinking and testing expected on the integrity path to design and manufacturing, enabling me to support future use in the concept.

EMP: I look forward to hearing how industry and academia are working to improve structural integrity practices suited to the challenges facing us as a result of the energy transition.

RW: To gain some level of appreciation what approaches to structural integrity codes are being taken in other industries.

DP: It’s always nice to meet interested engineers who are open to adopting AM for new applications.

CT: I look forward to meeting engineers interested in structural integrity and related codes across a wide range of industries and seeing how the methods used in one industry can benefit others.

JJ: See what other industries are using.

Q: Why is it important for engineers to participate in this event?

AB: As this technology becomes more widespread, it will be a more accepted practice than more traditional materials and manufacturing methods. Understanding this I think is useful to take advantage of these new opportunities.

EMP: A good understanding of structural integrity phenomena and procedures is critical for optimizing design and fitness for service assessment, as well as for preventing catastrophic failures.

RW: Become aware of the latest developments with respect to structural integrity codes for new materials and structures in different industries.

DP: Sandvik Osprey Ltd, the UK based manufacturing unit of Sandvik, has been in the metal AM business for 20 years and is a global supplier in this fast growing industry which is supported by other leading companies to create unique, new materials and processes and standardized materials .

CT: Structural integrity is a fundamental engineering discipline. Without it, the results of our labors would not survive!

JJ: To gain an appreciation of the codes and standards used in different industries and how they can be implemented elsewhere.

The Structural Integrity Codes for New Structures and Materials workshop will be held on 22 February 2023 at One Birdcage Walk, London.

To book your place visit the event website.

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