EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R005451/1
Title: Autonomous phased array ultrasound robotic NDT of long weld lines (AWI)
Principal Investigator: Sattar, Professor TP
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: London South Bank University
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 January 2017 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 117,444
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Robotics & Autonomy
Underwater Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Marine Class rules require the performance of an integrity survey every five years involving dry-docking the vessel, with external hull inspection, maintenance carried out as required (cleaning and painting). Safety societies demand that 100% ultrasonic testing should be performed on these welds. This represents the welding and inspection of some 0.5 km of weld line between the hull sections on the external surface of the hull. The length of time taken for human operators to perform all of this welding and inspection has obvious implications for high labour costs and high incidence of fatigue-induced mistakes and safety risks for personnel performing the inspections. An automated process would reduce costs to shipbuilder, reduce the need for hazardous working at height and improve consistency, reliability and availability of inspection data. However, current automated solutions involve large gantry robots that are unwieldy and expensive and for these reasons are not widely used.

The shipping industry in the UK is undergoing a renaissance with specialization in high specification specialist and luxury vessels. The UK also has many companies, such as project lead NDT Consultants providing specialist inspection services to the global market.

The aim of AWI is to develop mobile robots that can climb vertical and curved hull surfaces to deploy inspection tool. The system will be autonomous, and require no external scaffolding or gantry structures and relatively low cost. AWI will provide the project lead NDT Consultants Ltd. with new inspection services that they will use to expand their business in the global inspection industry. The supply chain consortium also includes a robotics systems SME manufacturer who will bring new robotic solutions to market.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Impacts
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Summary
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lsbu.ac.uk