As a not-for-profit enterprise, TWI has reinvested income into facilities at sites in Port Talbot, Middlesbrough and Great Abington near Cambridge.
The investment into new technology and infrastructure has been made achievable by advances made over the last four years that have seen TWI’s net worth grow from £57 million in 2018 to £206 million in 2021.
It has expanded capabilities for structural integrity, characterisation and non-destructive testing of welds and additive manufactured parts, as well as the assessment of materials in harsh environments. This includes a new permeation rig that can help assess the lifetime of materials, including polymers, while also monitoring their potential environmental impact.
Modelling and simulation facilities have also been developed further, allowing for virtual testing to be undertaken for purposes such as structural integrity ahead of any physical testing, thereby reducing costs for customers.
TWI testing has also been advanced for aggressive environments, including the assessment of pipelines with a bespoke full-scale testing system for materials in sour environments. In addition it provides corrosion testing services, drawing upon its knowledge and expertise alongside practical problem-solving skills. These testing services are proving particularly important for new and emerging technologies in energy, such as hydrogen.
It says it can also deliver manufacturing and in-service inspection using robotic systems capable of offering continuous and highly repeatable inspection at a reduced cost, while a new generation of cobots are able to work safely alongside humans in-situ.
TWI is, of course, well known for welding and joining processes such as electron beam, laser joining and a range of different friction processes and additive manufacture. These services have also seen investments, including the installation of a new electron beam machine.