and compliance.  Four tasks have been identified,
flux composition, and flux thickness.  The first step
with the first two completed.  They include estab 
of this research will be conducted on flat titanium
lished type of work versus risks, exposures, safety
plates. This will allow for the various parameters
and health hazards, and established OSHA compli 
to be investigated, while eliminating the orbital ef 
ance procedures, calculations and requirements.
fects of pipe welding.  Based on the results of this
Much of the data was collected separately to mea 
research, fabrication of socket joints on pipes will
sure exposure levels in the shipbuilding industry
be accomplished.
and was used to complete the first task.  Similarly,
To date, the flat plate welding research  resulted
compliance  models  developed  to  assess  worker
in significant findings.  Weld depth increased from
health and safety information were derived from
approximately three millimeters to approximately
data  collected  under  actual  field  conditions.   The
six millimeters, while significantly reducing weld
Nederman Filterbox is typical of measures used to
bead width.  The use of fluoride flux versus chlo 
control exposure in the shipbuilding industry.
rides is much more effective as the shielding me 
Two remaining tasks are underway including es 
dium produces the desired results.  Other experi 
tablished shipyard responsibilities to achieve OSHA
ments will continue during 2003 and results of the
compliance, and established performance tracking
research efforts will be published by the end of 2003.
procedures and methods.  The third task will ad 
dress monitoring, prevention efforts, as well as data
analysis and reporting.  The final task will consider
historical trends and desired tracking metrics.  UNO
COE is conducting the collection, analysis, and re 
Continuous Improvement of Drydocking
porting effort in cooperation with OSHA and mem 
bers of the shipbuilding industry.
The University of New Orleans, College of Engi 
Socket Welding of Titanium Grades
neering  conducted  a  survey  to  determine  critical
areas that needed improvement in drydocking.  Two
Research presently underway at the University of
papers  have  been  published  of  best  practices  in
New Orleans, College of Engineering on improved
drydocking and other reports are forthcoming.
welding methods for titanium pipes shows promise
for improving quality and reducing welding costs
New safety rules pressure ship operators to improve
for the shipbuilding and petro chemical industry.
the quality of ship operations and safety.  The Office of
Naval Research s Navy Manufacturing Technology Pro 
In cooperation with Ecole Centrale de Nantes, the
gram has sponsored a project of continuous improve 
University of New Orleans, College of Engineering
ment of drydocking management by the University of
(UNO COE) is investigating a new welding tech 
New Orleans, College of Engineering s (UNO COE s)
nique for welding the P 80 socket joint on  titanium
Gulf  Coast  Region  Maritime  Technology  Center
pipe.    Fusion  welding  of  titanium  is  particularly
(GCRMTC).  A survey was done by Ship Operation Co 
difficult due to its low thermal conductivity coupled
operative Program (SOCP) participants to determine
with the intrinsic spreading nature of titanium melt.
critical areas that needed improvement in drydocking.
Atmospheric  conditions  surrounding  the  welded
The results of the survey identified the need for stan 
joint also contribute to the welding difficulty.  Typi 
dardization, performance metrics, better risk and ship
cally, the P 80 Socket joint, which is very common
condition (e.g., corrosion in the hull, plating in the cargo
in shipbuilding and petro chemical operations, takes
spaces, etc.) assessment, and new reliability and main 
two passes to meet specification.  Reducing the num 
tenance  management  strategies.    Standardization  is
ber  of  passes,  while  attaining  proper  joint  geom 
needed  for  items  and  units  for  pricing,  reporting
etry and strength, reduces time spent achieving the
progress,  and  specification  formats.    Performance
welding and reduces opportunities for non conform 
metrics  are  not  currently  used  in  making  decisions.
ance.  Parameters being investigated by UNO COE
Better risk assessment is needed for scheduling and
and Ecole Centrale de Nantes researchers are elec 
selecting shipyards as well as better ship condition as 
trode shape, assist gas, electrode to work distance,
sessment  to  create  more  precise  specifications.    Six
weld current (steady and pulsating), travel speed,
Sigma can be implemented as a management strategy.

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