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    Specialist hyperbaric welding trials completed at National Hyperbaric Centre

    Projects and Operations // August 3, 2017

    JFD in the UK recently facilitated a dry hyperbaric welding trial for Subsea 7 within its saturation diving complex in Aberdeen.

    Ten diver welders were welcomed to JFD’s National Hyperbaric Centre in May and were accommodated for 13 days at a depth of 43msw within the saturation diving system in order to prove their welding techniques prior to fulfilling an offshore contract.

    The National Hyperbaric Centre houses the only land-based saturation diving system in the UK. The 16-man saturation dive complex is the ideal choice for clients looking to simulate a realistic, controlled hyperbaric environment in order to pre-qualify their diver welders prior to an offshore project ensuring welding procedures are safe, compliant and efficient. 

    The centre has enabled a number of welding trials over the years and its unique facilities and specialist technicians have attracted customers from around the world.

    The saturation system is capable of facilitating manned trials to 300m and comprises two fully fitted 8-man living chambers which connect to a transfer chamber (TC). Wet or dry diving trials can be accommodated and in the case of a wet trial, the TC simulates a diving bell complete with moon pool which connects to the work chamber below.

    The work chamber is fitted out prior to the weld by JFD’s technicians who ensure the correct safety and monitoring equipment is in place. Working closely with the client they create a habitat environment as similar as possible to the one in which the divers will be working in offshore.

    The dive follows exact offshore procedures with divers being monitored 24/7 by JFD life support supervisors and technicians as soon as they are under pressure. On shift within the work chamber, divers are monitored by Subsea 7 dive supervisors as they complete their welding procedures.

    Between shifts, the welded pipeline sections are removed from the work chamber through the entry lock of the TC and are taken away for inspection by a third party to ensure weld integrity in order to successfully qualify the diver welder.

    Undertaking hyperbaric welding trials within a controlled environment is essential to ensure safety and efficiency during mobilisation, and to reduce downtime offshore which could be time consuming and costly for the client.

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