SGS Inspects China Pavilion Structural Welds

SGS Industrial Services has been awarded a contract to provide independent welding inspection for the China Pavilion in Shanghai, which is manufactured from 23,000 tons of steel. The China Pavilion has been constructed as part of the World Expo 2010 event. It is shaped like an oriental crown and is 69m tall. The building consists of a 30m-high roof, which is made of traditional wooden brackets symbolising China's 56 minority ethnic groups and a large steel structure requiring 23,000 tons of steel.

Given the high number of expected visitors, the safety checks on the construction of the steel structure were of crucial importance. For this reason, SGS China was awarded the contract to provide independent technical inspection of the welds. The main target of SGS's third-party inspection was to verify that the welds conform to all the applicable quality standards. SGS China set up an inspection team of eight experienced and qualified experts responsible for identifying, analysing and eliminating failed welds.

Moreover, the SGS engineers ensured that the welds met defined quality standards. For the technical inspection work, the team of SGS experts conducted ultrasonic testing and magnetic particle testing. These are non-destructive testing (NDT) methods for the detection of discontinuities and corrosion in material. Conventional ultrasonic testing uses the principle of sending a pulsed beam of high ultrasound from a handheld transducer, which is placed upon the surface of the weld being tested.

This wave will be partially returned from spots with internal imperfections. By measuring this sound, a skilled engineer can identify the location and size of the discontinuity. For magnetic particle testing, a magnetic flux is sent through the ferrous material. At the location of the imperfection a leakage field is created. This attracts metal iron dust, which is sprayed onto the surface. SGS's inspection work took seven months and was completed in January 2009.


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