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Minutes of the General Meeting held at The Novotel, Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, on Wednesday, 2nd July 2003.


Clive Tuck – Langley Alloys, Meighs Ltd (MCF Chairman)

Chris Baxter – AvestaPolarit  (committee)  

Phil Dent – Bodycote (committee)  

Bill Nimmo  -NPL (committee)  

Keith Stokes – DSTL (imm. past chairman)

Barry Torrance – Aish Technologies (committee)

Jean Tuck – MCF Secretariat

Charlie Barraclough – Commtech (guest)

Peter Cutler - NiDI

David Flemington – MoD

John M Fletcher – FERA (guest speaker)  

John Fowler – Rolls Royce

Roger Francis – Weir Services

Robin Jacob – Corrosion Consultancy

David G James – Surface Engineering Specialists (guest speaker)

Brent Knox-Holmes - Petreco Int (guest)

Steve McCoy – Special Metals

Len Phillips – Weir Pumps

Carol Powell – NiDI

Chris Smith – QinetiQ

Ed Warren – Kellogg, Brown & Root

Mike Wilson - BAE Systems  

Jian-Zhong Zhang – Lloyd’s Register


Colin Argent – MACAW Engineering

Stuart Bond – TWI

Ian Bradley – Oceaneering OIS

Norman Cooper – BAE Systems

Patrick Hall – MoD

David Howarth – Lloyds Register

Anna Iversen – AvestaPolarit   

John Martin – BP

Robin Oakley - QinetiQ

Catriona Smith – BP

Klaus Steinkamp – KM Europa Metal

Kevin Waterton – CAPCIS

Robert Wood – Southampton University  

The Chairman (Clive Tuck) opened the meeting.  


1.1       The Chairman welcomed new member Ed Warren of Kellogg, Brown and Root. This brought the current number of members to 29. 

1.2   The Secretariat presented the list and topics of forthcoming meetings.  She also explained that CPD certificates were available after the meeting for those who wished to use these meetings to build up their CPD portfolio.  She also mentioned that the committee were in discussion with several organisations that had expressed interest in ratifying the MCF meetings and having their logos on the CPD certificates in recognition of this. [CPD certificates available from Secretariat on request, at or after meeting].


Click for abstracts

2.1  ‘Microbial Induced Corrosion on Stainless Steels in the Final Stages of Wastewater Treatment’, Anna Iversen (AvestaPolarit) [presented by Chris Baxter (AvestaPolarit) as Anna was unable to attend]

2.2  ‘How does current EU Legislation effect the Performance of Future Fastener Coating Processes?’,  David G James (Surface Engineering Specialists Ltd)


3.1  John Fletcher, of FERA, made a short presentation on the aims of The Fastener Engineering and Research Association:

 It can be said that “a bolt can be tightened to failure but it cannot be tightened to fail." So who's communicating the technical message and information to the specifiers on what to consider when designing a bolted joint?

 The United States fastener industry produces a great amount of information and material on fastener technology techniques, along with Japan. Both set out to focus on helping the designer to understand the mechanism of bolted joints, and their behaviour. It is a science, so one must expect to find experts who can advise and help the specifiers. 

Inspired by the need to support engineers technically within the customer base, TR Europe, a subdivision of Trifast plc, a leading UK industrial fastener and component supply chain specialist, established the Fastener Engineering and Research Association (FERA).

 It was recognised very early on that the fastener engineer could not be isolated from the whole process of logistical supply. Out of various discussions and consultations, key criteria for providing technical information to the fastener engineer and designer were listed and a new concept was born.

 FERA is a pioneering professional organisation for engineers and designers involved in the specification of fasteners, the installation of mechanical fasteners, the use of adhesives and involvement in application joint design.

 It provides engineers and designers from major OEMs with their own professional body. Members include individual engineers and designers with proven experience in manufacturing, creating a nationwide network of professional talent. FERA is sponsored by TR Europe, and is entirely non-profit making.

 One of the prime aims is to further the development of the fastener industry by allowing designers and engineers, from all sections of the industry, to have a say in its evolution. FERA also helps members solve technical problems by ensuring priority access to technical engineering and support services from various sources that can provide comprehensively equipped testing facilities.

The specifier or designer selects his or her preferred choice for such technical support and is under no obligation to seek support exclusively from the sponsor. To ensure avoidance of any potential conflict of interest occurring, the operational management of FERA is undertaken by an independent General Secretary.

 Members have direct access to qualified fastener engineers and to each other through a network of excellence. It also provides opportunities to attend technical seminars held regularly throughout the year. Topics are selected to address the needs of members and prevalent to all aspects of current mechanical joint technology and any other issues. Regular updates on changes to international standards are a key feature of the association’s work.

Access to information is through the FERA website, newsletters, and technical data files that are issued on a regular basis. The latest technique in easing the availability to expert advice also includes video conferencing for immediate and urgent advice.

 FERA was established in 1999 and by the end of the year 2000 it will have attained a membership of over three hundred.  To learn more about the Fastener Engineering and Research Association and services visit their web-site:

3.2    Bill Nimmo (NPL) is writing a report for the DTI to identify the main drivers for corrosion issues, identifying things that need to be done, in order to obtain funding.  He would be glad of any input of ideas, ideally by the end of July, but this may be extended in part until March.  The NPL web site,, has a questionnaire under ‘corrosion’, or e-mail Bill on [email protected].

3.3    Keith Stokes (DSTL) said that he was looking for advice on coatings for stainless steel for a subsea application, that would need to last for 30 years, something such as a low viscose paint coating.  Suggestions included a high quality epoxy system, or epoxy phenolics.

3.4     Peter Cutler (NiDI) wanted to know of any evidence for stress corrosion cracking of stainless steels at ambient temperatures (< 60oC).  This would be unsensitised material in normal atmospheric conditions.  Charlie Barraclough (Commtech) recounted a case in Bahrain of a failure of a stainless steel seawater pump which stress corroded when it failed due to lack of the cooling throughput.  This did not help Peter, as the conditions were not ambient.  He would be grateful to hear of any known instances of stress corrosion cracking under such conditions ([email protected]).

3.5     Barry Torrance (Aish): following on from the talk on chromate passivated zinc coated steel fasteners earlier in the day, Barry recounted an instance where he had a steel enclosure which had zinc-coated steel connectors passivated yellow and steel fasteners similarly zinc coated and passivated yellow.  The assembly was subsequently exposed to seawater and only the electrical connectors had turned white – the rest of the enclosure was unchanged.  Bill Nimmo suggested that the passive coating was not as good on the connectors and the exposure time had not been sufficiently long to affect the rest of the assembly.


4.1   ‘Corrosion in 40 Minutes - Evaluating the Susceptibility of Welds’, Bill Nimmo (NPL)

4.2  ‘The Behaviour and Application of Stainless Steels in Water Treatment Plants & Distribution Systems’, Carol Powell (NiDI)

The Chairman closed the meeting at approx. 3:45 pm

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