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Mandela University’s eNtsa recently proved their WeldCore® (friction hydro pillar weld) process as a successful repair procedure at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.


Role players from left, Matthew Cusworth and Rob Widdison (NAMRC), Hendrik Nel (eNtsa), William Kyffin (NAMRC), and Dreyer Bernard and Riaan Opperman (eNtsa).

This is a joint research project between Electric Power Research Institute in the USA, (EPRI) NAMRC and eNtsa from the University’s Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology.

It proved to be hugely successful and celebrated by all, follow on projects in this regard has already been initiated, says Donnie Erasmus, eNtsa’s Deputy Director Engineering Projects.

It is widely accepted in the nuclear field that most manufacturing techniques should have a form of redundancy or backup for repair work, as was the case with the electron beam welding, Donnie says.

eNtsa has a long research and collaboration history with the Electric Power Research Institute in the USA, who suggested that the Nuclear AMRC contact eNtsa in this regard.

They reached out to eNtsa in 2021 to do a feasibility project, which was successful and led to further development work in follow on projects. This culminated in a recent demonstration weld at their campus in Sheffield.

The WeldCore® process proved with flying colours to be able to repair defective electron beam welding on a small modular reactor at depth. The research at eNtsa involved both staff and interns during the refinement and development phase.

This technique will be used on small modular reactors in the manufacturing of reactors for the nuclear field.

“We are hoping to use this to promote and generate a network in the European, and International arena, and demonstrate eNtsa capability to the international industry”, Donnie said.

Read more: International project takes new approach to weld repair

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