The welding team at the University of Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) is using a Baty SM300 GMR vertical profile projector to ensure the quality of weld profiles on sub-components used in nuclear applications.
John Crossley, NDT (non-destructive testing) technology lead at the centre, said: “The accurate measurement of weld profiles is absolutely critical to the work we do.
“Everything we manufacture must meet the very highest levels of quality, due to the extreme conditions that components are exposed to.
“Some of our welding work ends up as part of containment flasks at the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear decommissioning site, so accuracy and quality are very important.”
A profile is taken of every weld using dental putty, which is manipulated to create an impression of the weld profile, and then measured to check the quality of the surface finish that has been created during the welding process.
The Baty SM300 GMR — supplied by Bowers Group (www.bowersgroup.co.uk
) — has a large travel range of 150 x 50mm as standard, plus a linear-scale stage with 0.001mm resolution.
It has a fine-ground glass screen with cross-hair lines and chart clips, built-in profile and surface illumination, and an LED display.
Mr Crossley added: “The Baty profile projector is really easy to use and does exactly what we need it to.
“We trust it to deliver accurate repeatable measurements, meaning that we can be confident in our quality procedures — and can pass this confidence on to our customers.”
The welding team at the Nuclear AMRC develops advanced and innovative joining and cladding techniques tailored to the nuclear industry.
Nuclear power plants require extremely high levels of quality and assurances, and many key components must be manufactured by joining together large sub-components in a way that is resistant to corrosion and maintains material integrity under extreme conditions while in service.