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News ReleaseTWI Opens New Facility to Help Improve The Working Environment and Make Welding Safer

March 10, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

TWI is opening a new facility, sponsored by Air Products, to test the environmental and safety impact of fumes and pollutant gases generated by welding processes.

The new facility will advance safety in the field of welding by helping industry develop and test processes and products that limit potentially harmful fume and gas emissions.

Particulate fume and gas emissions are an increasingly important concern for industry. Legislation governing health and safety in welding exists in all countries and is becoming ever more stringent. It requires fabricators to ensure that they comply with strict exposure limits on key pollutants and carry out detailed risk assessments of their welding and cutting processes.

This is the first time that TWI has dedicated laboratory space to the full-time study and measurement of fume and pollutant gas emissions and their impact on personal exposure levels and health and safety in the workplace.

The facility is sponsored by welding gas producer Air Products and will be named after the company's founder Leonard Parker Pool. It will allow welding trials to be carried out on various processes and procedures with different equipment, materials and consumables. This work will enhance understanding in the field and help the welding and cutting industry to develop new consumables, such as shielding gases, wires or electrodes, and new welding procedures with low emission characteristics.

The facility will include new state-of-the-art equipment for measuring the emission rate of fume and pollutant gases.

TWI's Chief Executive Bevan Braithwaite, said: "This is a significant step for every industry involved in welding. Making welding a safer process for the people who undertake it as well as reducing the impact on the work environment is a key priority for us.

"This dedicated laboratory space will provide the best conditions possible for the accurate and reproducible measurement of fume and pollutant gas emissions and will help to further our understanding in this key area of workplace health and safety."

Air Products' European President Bernard Guerini said: "The relationship between Air Products and TWI stretches back over twenty-five years. In that time the partnership has been responsible for some groundbreaking research including the development of the first technique for reproducibly measuring potentially harmful ozone exposure during welding.

"The collaboration has led to some great innovations - including our new Maxx range of shielding gases, which deliver faster welding speeds and superior weld quality without compromising workplace health & safety.

"The new laboratory will undoubtedly herald even greater advances towards making welding and cutting safer."

To coincide with the opening of the Leonard Parker Pool laboratory, Air Products has also produced a new booklet "Understanding fume & pollutant gases in welding - a practical guide" designed to provide information and advice to fabricators. 

Notes to editors:

TWI Ltd is one of the world's foremost research and technology organisations. Its headquarters are at Granta Park, Great Abington, near Cambridge, UK where over 450 staff provide technical support in welding, joining and associated technologies such as NDT, surfacing, coating and cutting.

Services include contract R&D, technical information, advice, consultancy, training and qualification. TWI uniquely offers a single, impartial source of these services for joining of engineering materials. Some 3200 companies and organisations - representing virtually all sectors of manufacturing industry from over 60 countries around the globe - benefit from TWI services. For more information visit  

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives and has significant positions in core technologies such as gases for welding and cutting. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit

TWI Contact:
Colin Hallmark
Tel: 07745 914170

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