Pelle Mellin, Swerim

Swedish quality assurance gains international status

21 June, 2022

A Swedish standard, developed by a project group led by Pelle Mellin at Swerim, has now gained internal, ISO status. This is a standard for quality assurance of metal parts manufactured via the PM HIP method (Hot Isostatic Pressing).

"Manufacturers in the industry can now feel secure knowing that the test method has also been ISO-standardized. And, for those of use who have worked on the project, it is very satisfying to have completed many years of work that began in 2011," says project manager Pelle Mellin.

The material produced using the PM HIP method is corrosion resistant and withstands high pressure. It is used in oil rigs and in pipes on the seabed. However, risks arise during manufacturing. The argon that is used as a pressure medium to press the metal into the desired shape can in some cases leak in and remain present in the form of bubbles in the material. Although the bubbles are microscopic, they make the metal brittle, which could prove disastrous if the defective metal objects are not identified and rejected.

Companies that manufacture metal products using the HIP method have, of course, relied on quality-control methods for identifying defective products, but prior to 2018 there has never been a consistent method that customers could request regardless of supplier. Pelle Mellin, research engineer at the metals research institute Swerim, was tasked with managing a project of which the aim was to come up with just such a consistent method and a standard describing it.

For three years, via systematic measurements, Mellin and his colleagues succeeded in having the standard approved by SIS, the Swedish Standards Institute. And now it has also gained international status; i.e., it is now an ISO standard.

"The requirements for ISO approval are even higher than for SIS. In many countries, this system gives rise to strong opinions and dissatisfaction. Twelve laboratories throughout Europe have conducted measurements according to the Swedish standard and we managed to cross a very high threshold to achieve the so-called Draft International Standard. We feel victorious!"

There are two measurement instruments on the market, and the standard can be downloaded for a fee, but is also available in print form, either via the Swedish Standards Institute Swedish (SIS) or the international counterpart ISO.