Ten IS Dam Lining staff qualified under the international training scheme CSWIP in May, with trainer Andy Knight travelling from the UK to undertake the training.
IS Dam Lining operations manager Andrew Taylor says the CSWIP certification scheme is the only internationally recognised training scheme, and will ensure quality installations are undertaken by IS Dam Lining in New Zealand. “We felt it was well worth the expense of flying Andy out, to ensure our boys are all top notch,” he says.
The CSWIP scheme is under the auspices of TWI, the British-based primary research organisation founded after World War II to focus on materials joining technology. The organisation employs 900 scientists with offices in 14 different countries; research work focuses on all different types of material including plastics, ceramics and even wood. CSWIP is a fully owned subsidiary of the research organisation TWI.
The course covers the main types of geomembranes commonly used, and the methods used to join these materials. Knowledge and experience is required to produce successful joints or welds; welders and extruders used for the process are sophisticated and a good working knowledge of mechanical and electrical principles is necessary in order to understand and operate the machinery successfully.
A successful weld relies on the correct calibration of the machine, with the three key parameters of temperature, pressure and speed aligned to give a quality result.
Andy says training is very much a part of their overall business, with courses offered in non-destructive testing, welding inspection, and materials joining. “We deliver courses worldwide in manual welding techniques, lining systems, fabrication and piping.”
Andy instructed the IS Dam Lining staff for a Certificate in Plastic Welding Standard Level in accordance with the European Standards BS EN 13067 and AWS B2.4. Only welders whose training and previous activities show that they are likely to pass the test may undertake the course. A welder must have installation experience of at least 80,000 square metres of thermoplastic geomembrane, gained on at least three different projects, to undertake the certificate.
Installation technicians need to be able identify a good or bad weld both visually, and by destructive and non-destructive testing methods. The course involves a theory section, and a practical welding section. Samples are sent back to the UK for independent testing. Successful participants in the course need to have a fundamental understanding of processes and set-up of calibration equipment. They need to know the strength value of the weld, and the way it fractures.
“The boys were brilliant, dedicated and motivated, “ Andy says.