Halford Morfa Copperworks in Swansea
The Fine Iron team have had the pleasure of working on the restoration of the cast iron roof structure to the pump house of Hafod Morfa Copperworks in Swansea. We are proud to have been involved in the conservation of this important piece of Welsh industrial history.
The works to the substantial, industrial cast iron roof structure are now complete and the Copperworks has now been opened by Penderyn Distillery!
The long neglected cast iron roof trusses and struts required extensive repair works and were expertly removed and carefully labelled to ensure that each element would be returned to its original position before being delivered to our workshops.
Welding cast iron
Where possible the original ironwork was shot-blasted and repaired.
Some struts required welding and welding historic gray cast iron can present unique challenges due to the material’s properties and potential historical significance. Gray cast iron is a brittle material known for its high carbon content, which gives it its characteristic gray color and excellent castability. However, its brittleness makes traditional welding techniques challenging.
Due to gray cast iron’s susceptibility to cracking during cooling, preheating is often necessary. Preheating the entire piece or the area to be welded helps to reduce temperature gradients, minimizing the risk of cracks. This is particularly important in thicker sections or where intricate detailing exists.
After welding, post-weld heat treatment is often applied to relieve residual stresses and enhance the mechanical properties of the weld. The piece is heated to a specific temperature and then slowly cooled. This step helps to prevent cracking and improve the overall structural integrity of the repaired area.
Once this process was finished the welds were carefully ground and smoothed to blend in with the original surface as closely as possible.
Where possible the original cast iron trusses and struts were repaired, however some elements were beyond reasonable repair and given the structural nature of the ironwork it was decided that certain pieces required complete replacement. New patterns and castings were created using the old ironwork as a template to ensure the new matched the old.
Once all repairs were finished the ironwork was painted in the specified colour before being delivered back to site to be reinstated.
Client: John Weaver Contractors Ltd