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Engineering services

Engineering services

Our Engineering Services are broad, but our client-focus is universal. Whether seeking mechanical testing, structural integrity services or our corrosion investigation solutions, our team of experienced engineers are ready to support your next Engineering Services need.

Condition Assessment of Concrete Assets

Concrete assets, including industrial and commercial buildings, tanks, stacks, bridges, tunnels, and beyond, are critical structures for owners, operators and the wider community alike. Effective management of these assets is therefore critical in maintaining the confidence needed for all stakeholders. Specific confidence considerations include:

  • The in-service condition of an asset shows sufficient structural capacity to sustain the Serviceability and Ultimate Limit States.
  • The acceptable risk management of the assets, with life cycle costs minimised.
  • The asset’s construction aligns with the specifications to which they were designed.

The ALS Approach

ALS provides a unique combination of engineering and inspection services to support clients in effectively addressing these requirements and in understanding the condition of their concrete structures.

Our engineering team includes highly experienced civil and structural engineers who deliver condition assessments of concrete assets including:

  • Concrete structural adequacy modelling and analysis of assets for an expected service life.
  • Concrete durability modelling and calculation of remaining service life.
  • End of service life condition assessment of concrete assets with 50 years or plus service age.
  • Advanced microscopic analysis and investigation of concrete disintegration.
  • Post incident assessment of concrete structures impacted by fire, acid leakage and mechanical impact.
  • Provision of technical expert opinions on disputes and legal cases.
  • Recommendation of the scope and timing of remedial and maintenance works.
  • Asset management assistance and providing civil and structural consultation to the clients in managing their assets.

With our multidisciplinary team using these advanced techniques, our services can cover:

  • Consultation to the clients in defining the most cost-effective scope condition assessment to maintain the service condition of their assets. This includes regular condition assessment and during major shutdowns.
  • A comprehensive array of structural and durability inspection, testing and modelling services for concrete assets.
  • Performing destructive, non-destructive and laboratory testing services.
  • Investigating any disintegration mechanism within concrete matrix due to external and/or internal mechanisms including performing investigation for:
    • Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR);
    • Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF);
    • External sulfate attack and sulfate expansion; and,
    • External acid attack.
  • Tailored scope of durability and structural assessment of concrete structures for:
    • Bridge assessments including load rating of bridges;
    • Tank and reservoir assessments including structural crack assessment and water tightness calculations of concrete tanks; and,
    • Chimney and stack assessments including the effect of dynamic wind, seismic, and thermal loads.
  • Managing and performing industrial research on the durability performance of new concrete mixes and effect of introducing recycled materials to concrete.

Using our advanced project management capabilities, ALS brings a cost-effective solution to the delivery of comprehensive condition assessments of structures. This is achieved by applying an array of non-destructive and destructive testing including:

  • Concrete comprehensive strength and density assessment.
  • Concrete reinforcement investigation including the type, depth, size, spacing of rebars.
  • Concrete contamination assessment including chloride and sulfate ion ingress testing and modelling.
  • nvestigating concrete defects including honeycombing, delamination, voids within concrete.
  • Concrete durability and structural crack condition assessment including thermal, shrinkage, corrosion, and map cracks in structures.
  • Concrete carbonation and loss of alkalinity testing and modelling.
  • Petrography of concrete samples and concrete raw materials.
  • Full X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) chemical analysis of concrete.
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for detailed concrete microstructure assessment.
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX) for detailed compositional analysis.
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD) for investigating the crystalline phases present in concrete.

For further information contact us directly.

Corrosion Investigation

Corrosion wreaks havoc globally, causing the loss of billions of dollars annually through the deterioration of structures, pipework and components. In addition to the direct financial losses from corrosion, billions of dollars are spent preventing corrosion from occurring in the first place.

The ALS Approach

The ALS advantage in detecting and managing corrosion problems stems from the combined skills and experience of our broad team of inspectors, technicians and engineers.

Our team provides a holistic solution by detecting corrosion, identifying the corrosion mechanisms and their root cause, and then consulting with the client on how to best investigate and mitigate corrosion. ALS's advice allows our clients to make confident decisions on how to manage corrosion challenges and thus reduce the cost of corrosion to their organisation.

ALS provides:
  • A combination of industry leading inspection capability with best practice access solutions, including drones, crawlers, robotic CCTV, 3D imaging, and rope access.
  • Conventional and advanced non-destructive testing and inspection techniques to accurately and efficiently assess the extent of corrosion and map findings in easy to use data sets, ready for interpretation.
  • Positive Material Identification (PMI) of alloys by portable, battery powered X-Ray Fluorescence equipment.
  • Expert metallographic services, both optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), to examine the nature of corrosion at a microscopic level. ALS has laboratory and remote site capabilities.
  • Chemical analysis of metals by Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES).
  • Chemical analysis of corrosion products by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS).
  • Fitness-For-Service assessment conforming to standards and codes.
  • Repair plans conforming to standards and codes
  • Mitigation strategies to reduce the effect of corrosion on assets, including alteration to the environment and alteration to the material.
  • Plans and intervals for future inspection.
  • Assessment of environmental corrosivity and the prediction of asset life.
  • Materials selection and coating advice to suit specific applications.

Engineering and Materials Consulting

ALS provides expert consulting services with the ability to solve complex problems across a vast array of fields and a variety of materials. Our team has the capacity to ensure that, when needed, our client's questions can be comprehensively answered. With experience across industries and incidents, our specific services include:

  • Root cause analysis (RCA)
  • Failure analysis
  • Assessment of remaining life
  • Creep and creep fatigue analysis of high temperature plants
  • Corrosion investigation and mitigation
  • Coating assessment and specification
  • Concrete diagnostics and repair strategies
  • Material selection, identification, condition assessment and repair strategies
  • Metallography and microstructural characterisation, including on-site replication services
  • Fitness-For-Service assessments at all levels
  • Failure modes, effects and criticality analysis / failure modes symptoms analysis (FMECA/FMSA)
  • Evaluation of cracks and flaws using fracture mechanics
  • Stress and strain measurement via strain gauging
  • Finite element analysis
  • Determination of appropriate inspection and maintenance programs based on asset type and likely damage mechanisms
  • Development and review of condition management programs
  • Weld procedure development and review
  • Litigation support and expert witness.

The ALS advantage is our ability to marry high level consulting engineers and scientists with our broad testing capability. This means that when clients engage ALS to examine their complex engineering problems, they can be confident that we will provide our experts with access to the right tests, and therefore the best information upon which they can make decisions.

For further information contact us directly.

Failure and Root Cause Analysis

Failure Analysis and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) are similar but not identical terms that describe techniques used in investigating an event or accident and determining the reasons why the event occurred.

While the equipment and analysis techniques used are often similar, the distinct difference of these two analysis techniques lies in their definition. RCA involves determining the root cause of an incident through some formal analysis process. Failure analysis differs in its scope, only looking at the physical root causes of a failure at a component level. Failure analysis does not look at the “how” of a failure and as such can be considered a subsection within RCA.

Adopted proactively, the analysis helps clients learn from past incidents, predict future trends and implement solutions to avoid repeat occurrence.

The benefit of adopting failure analysis and RCA surrounds the ability to implement root cause solutions. With repeat occurrences avoided, additional benefits include:

  • A reduction to the asset’s downtime and maintenance demands.
  • A reduction in maintenance and replacement costs.
  • An optimised production output.

The ALS Approach

Through our team of engineers, metallurgists, materials engineers, scientists and technicians, ALS proudly boasts decades of experience in failure investigation and RCA. ALS’s principal engineers and scientists are highly accredited with recognised qualification such as RPEQ, CPEng, CMatP, MIEAust and FIEAus.

Our broad team brings significant capacity to our clients in investigating incidents and failures, and has a deep understanding of root cause determination techniques. As part of this, ALS can provide large scale resourcing when required to turn around incident determinations in real time. ALS have mobilised multidisciplinary teams to complete critical interpretations on behalf of our clients.

In the unfortunate event that a failure occurs, ALS can effectively investigate and provide expert opinions that can be relied upon.

For further information contact us directly.

Mechanical Testing

With diverse material capability, ALS can provide the right mechanical testing to answer your material property questions.

ALS's mechanical testing services brings the science of mechanical property testing to most material types.

ALS proudly delivers reliable NATA endorsed testing services, with prompt advice and efficient reporting priority. To further explore ALS’s NATA accreditation and find the relevant contact details for your mechanical testing, contact our mechanical testing team.

Welder Qualifications & Procedure Qualifications

ALS provides welder qualifications and procedure qualifications (WPS, PQR) including:

Hardness Testing

Hardness testing is used to determine a material’s characteristics and functionality. The test assesses the level of mechanical resistance one material has to the mechanical penetration of another, harder body.

There are a variety of hardness testing methods employed at ALS including Vickers hardness, Vickers microhardness, Brinell hardness, and Rockwell hardness.

Bend Testing

Bend testing is a method of determining a variety of factors surrounding a material’s ductility, the bend and fracture strength, along with the material’s resistance to fracturing.

Impact Testing

Impact testing is used to observe and assess a material during a collision or shock landing, specifically assessing the material’s ability to absorb energy.

Shear Testing

Shear testing encompasses a variety of loading schemes aimed at assessing shear strain, stress and modulus by applying force to a specimen until fracture occurs. This testing is most commonly performed on metals, adhesives and composites.

Fillet Break Testing

Fillet break tests are a form a testing used to examine the weld root under tension, and specifically examine this root’s penetration in a destructive manner.

Nick Break Testing

Nick break testing is a form of destructive testing, designed to test a weld’s quality, and if present, identify internal defects such as burnt metal, slag inclusions and lack of fusion.

Compression & Tensile Testing

Compression and tensile testing are two of the most common mechanical testing methods. With compression testing, the test looks to assess the behaviour of a material when crushing loads are applied. Whereas tensile testing assesses a specimen’s tensile strength, yield strength along with the material’s ductility.

Both compression and tensile testing are performed on universal mechanical testing equipment.

Chemical Analysis

ALS provides comprehensive on-site and off-site chemical analysis of metals, alloys and corrosion products for all types of industry. This chemical analysis and testing is critical for regulatory compliance and providing clients with confidence in their products quality.

ALS provides chemical analysis of metallic materials using the following methods:

  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
  • Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES)
  • Through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), ALS also provides analysis (e.g. EDAX/ EDS) to determine composition of microstructural elements and corrosion by products.

For further information contact us directly.

Product Compliance and Performance Testing

Offering excellent turnaround and comprehensive service lines, ALS provides load testing and destructive testing for a wide range of products.

ALS maintains significant capability performing consumer product testing. Our team can advise clients on their product’s performance under realistic conditions as well as compliance with relevant standards. ALS testing includes:

  • Testing to the requirements of Australian and international standards such as ISO and ASTM
  • Testing to destruction or fatigue limit
  • Wear tests
  • Corrosion tests
  • Impact penetration tests
  • Drop tests
  • Resistivity tests

ALS's testing is performed under NATA accreditation (ISO 17025) for mechanical testing and is overseen by ALS’s experienced mechanical and materials engineers.

ALS can provide product manufacturers with answers to important questions such as:

  • Does my product meet the relevant standards?
  • How long will my product last under typical operating conditions?
  • Is there a test that can assess my product's performance?

ALS can identify the cause and mechanism of many failures and provide appropriate remediation advice, and can test the following products:

  • Office and home furniture (AS/NZS 4688.2)
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Filing cabinets
  • Storage furniture
  • Couches
  • Bunk beds
  • Ladders, including straight, trestle and multi-folding
  • Cargo restraints
  • Bolts and fasteners
  • Sound barriers
  • Drain, lids and grates
  • Swimming pool fences and gates
  • Trolley jacks
  • Roof edge protection systems
  • Lifting frames and beams
  • Scaffolding, including tube and coupler, quick-fit and attachments
  • Fall restraints, including wire mesh, anti fall, and hand rails

For further information contact us directly.

Structural Inspection and Engineering

ALS’s Structural Engineering and Inspection services ensure key assets remain reliable, 365 days a year.

History has seen poor structural integrity management to blame for major plant failures globally. When such failures occur, there can be catastrophic losses to life, production, and reputation as well as severe environmental impacts and severe financial losses, both immediate and enduring.

The effective management and monitoring of structures is key to ensuring a consistently safe and productive plant which avoids such catastrophes. ALS’s structural engineering and inspection services are here to help clients maintain their structural integrity and avoid disaster.

The ALS Approach

Our clients look to ALS to gain confidence that their structures are being properly managed, inspected, repaired and remain in line with all applicable legislation and comply with regulatory standards.

ALS follows a stepped approach to structural inspection, based on the principles of multiple Australian and international standards for risk-based inspection, as well as asset management standards PAS 55 and ISO 55000.

When engaged for structural integrity work by a client, our skilled engineers and inspection staff practically approach the management of structural inspections and associated engineering investigations. Our experts work alongside highly experienced engineers who oversee the critical steps where needed.

Engaging structural inspection and engineering through ALS ensures that:

  • The right inspection and access solutions are selected, including Remote Digital Visual Inspection, rope access and remote piloted aircraft and 3D laser scanning.
  • The right inspection scopes are selected on the basis of statutory and risk-based inspection processes.
  • The structural inspection reports are provided in a detailed or focused form, as required by the client.
  • The data is provided in accessible and sortable formats to maximise the ease of interpretation and transfer of data into the client’s asset management systems (CMMS).

ALS has experience delivering a range of structural engineering and integrity services. Within this range, ALS maintains core capability in strain gauging and finite element analysis, both used to better understand the stress conditions of any structure under load.

For further information contact us directly.

Testing Of Non-Metallic Materials

With challenges unlike their metallic counterparts, ALS offers comprehensive services tailored for the unique characteristics of non-metallic material.

Non-metallic materials are replacing metals in applications requiring corrosion resistance, reduced weight, specific wear properties or reduced fabrication costs. However, such materials still require specific consideration in an asset care program. ALS are leaders in providing tailored services to deal with the unique challenges these materials pose.

Material Testing

ALS has extensive experience testing non-metallic materials. Testing types include:

  • Mechanical: tensile, compressive, tear, flexural, pull-off, hardness.
  • Chemical: chemical compatibility testing and temperature exposure trials, water permeability.
  • Holistic: load frame or body impact testing of plastic and composite structures.

Material Identification

Non-metallic material identification can be more in depth than metallic material identification due to the complex mixtures of molecules in such materials. Many rubbers, composites and plastic samples are less than 60% by weight of the named material type with the rest being various mineral and non-mineral fillers. ALS investigates materials using methods including scanning electron microscopy, pyrolysate Fourier transform infrared analysis and thermogravimetric analysis to characterise the various elements, phases and chemical bonds present in the sample. These methods can also be used to identify unknown rubber or plastic fragments which are contaminating systems.

Failure Investigations

Whilst a number of failure mechanisms, such as tensile overload or fatigue, are common to metallic and non-metallic materials, some failure modes differ in elastomers significantly from metallic materials. This includes mechanisms such as explosive decompression, environmental stress cracking and oxidation damage. ALS has experience in failure investigations across a wide range of non-metallic material sample types including rubbers, fabrics, plastics, composite amongst others.

Non-Destructive Testing

Non-destructive testing methods for non-metallic materials are constrained by the limited electrical conductivity and magnetism in the materials. ALS has experience in ultrasonic testing of elastomeric materials including conveyer belts and penetrant testing of composite and polymeric materials for crack detection. Holiday testing of coatings and material hardness testing can also be undertaken in-situ.

For further information contact us directly.

Welding Assurance Services

When welding quality is questioned, partner with ALS for a comprehensive inspection, consulting and testing solution.

Welding remains among the most common, useful and efficient methods to join two metal components. The versatility that the many manual and automatic welding processes afford, combined with many different joint design options, allow designers and manufacturers the adaptability to pursue many practical options. However, navigating the complex set of welding options and successfully designing and actioning quality welds can require expert knowledge along with independent quality control and inspections.

Range of ALS Welding Services

  • Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) and Procedure Qualification Records (PQR) development and documentation.
  • Supervision of the preparation of procedure and welder qualification test coupon.
  • Non-destructive testing using conventional and advanced NDT methods, including visual weld inspection, both Visual Scanning and Visual Examination.
  • Combined NDT and mechanical testing of test coupon, to allow clients to qualify:
    • Weld procedures (WPS and PQR testing);
    • Production Test Plate Testing; and,
    • Welders
  • Auditing and surveillance of welding inspection, which is done to the latest editions of:
    • Welding process optimisation services.
    • Verification of parent and weld metal properties, including:
      • Carbon equivalent (CEq);
      • Full materials chemical composition analysis and mechanical properties including strength, hardness and impact strength;
      • Options for selecting other material types for repairs (materials interchangeability);
      • ASTM G48 for corrosion testing;
      • Ferrite testing of welds;
      • Portable hardness testing of weld HAZ and parent material;
      • Positive Material Identification (PMI) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF); and,
      • Boron content of imported Steels.

The ALS Approach

Partnering with clients across diverse industries, ALS’s highly versatile approach to welding inspection is adapted on a case by case basis. Our experts are able to answer client questions such as:

  • How to reduce costs with regards to welder qualifications?
  • How to ensure their welds comply with the appropriate standard?
  • How to reduce weld repairs and cut outs?
  • How to optimise the welding process for best production outcomes?
  • Which standards apply to the welds that are being produced?
  • What range of works does their PQR/ WPS qualify them for?
  • What are the most appropriate non-destructive testing techniques to test this weld?
  • What is the best welding process for the joint type?
  • What is the most effective way to qualify their welders for the work?

The ALS advantage comes from our highly experienced metallurgy, mechanical and inspection team. When our deep industry experience is combined with our comprehensive welding inspection tools, which takes advantage of the most up to date techniques and processes, efficient solutions are consistently delivered.

For further information contact us directly.

Strain Gauge Measurements

Despite continued advancements in simulation modelling methods, strain gauge measurements remain important in determining actual strains developed in assets during testing and in-service operation.

The measurement of strain is a fundamentally simple, yet effective and accurate technique to record the strain that develops in components when loads are applied to them.

Strain gauges have application across almost any type of asset, with some examples being:

  • Civil structures, such as bridges, overpass, steel and concrete buildings and various process building in mining, oil and gas.
  • Product loading structures, such as ship loaders and container cranes.
  • Shaft torsion measurements to determine both torque loads and torsional oscillations.
  • Crushing plants
  • Pipeline vibration
  • Cranes and lifting equipment, an area in which ALS maintains LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) developmental membership.

Advantages of Strain Gauges

The main advantages of testing via strain gauges include:

  • Determining asset response under variable and unknown load conditions, such as materials bulk handling, excavation and mobile equipment.
  • Determining loads applied, such as axial, bending or torsion.
  • Providing high precision measurements.

Strain gauges themselves are typically both small, inexpensive and their use does not damage the asset being tested.

ALS' engineers combine strain measurement with vibration measurement and advanced simulation tools such as FEA to help customers identify and resolve structural challenges with industrial assets.