Eskom RT&D develops laser beam welding technology for power station applications

A newly developed mobile laser beam welding (LBW) system can repair leaks and cracks in stainless steel water reservoirs.

Content Dam Ils Online Articles 2016 06 Welding Eskom Web

Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D; Johannesburg, South Africa), in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) National Laser Centre (NLC; Pretoria, South Africa), has developed a mobile laser beam welding (LBW) system for repairing leaks and cracks in stainless steel water reservoirs.

A LBW research facility has been established at CSIR NLC to support Eskom's maintenance program for dealing with various maintenance challenges on high-value equipment, such as precision weld repairs on turbine blades. Of particular interest is rebuilding blades with erosion as well as mechanical damage.

Eskom RT&D develops Laser Beam Welding technology for power station applications.

A large number of turbine blades are scrapped during turbine maintenance and repair projects since the tenons of blades need to be ground down to remove the blades from the turbine rotor. Removed blades cannot be used again, as the remaining tenon stub is too short to be riveted a second time. Rebuilding the tenons by welding is a viable and cost-effective option to repair the blades for further use, and should result in substantial cost savings.

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