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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

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WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

Matthew Petroleum Notes


If you are interested in integrity-related subjects, have a try at our graduate-level quiz. The questions are not linked to any specific exam or qualification but contain general principles of physics, science and maths that form the basis of engineering degree courses.

As with all the technical quizzes on our website, have a go at each question first, before you look at the suggested answers via the link at the end. See how you do.

Qu 1: The fastest wheels in the world: Rotating masses

The new Bloodhound supersonic car will attempt to be the first car to reach 1000mph.It has solid wheels made out of aluminium. You can see the details here

The Bloodhound wheels are 910 mm diameter. If you stuck a 5 pence piece (weight 3.25g) to the rim, how much would if ‘weigh’ when the car was travelling at 1000mph?

Circumference of wheel = Pi xD =3.142 x 0.910 = 2.859m

1 mile=1609.34metres

1 mph=1609.34 /3600 = 0.447 metres/sec so 1000mph = 447 m/sec

Linear speed of wheel v = 447 m/sec

Linear acceleration at rim = v2/radius = 447 x 447 /0.455m = 439140.6 m/sec2

For a mass of 3.25g (0.00325kg) using F=mass x acceleration

F=0.00325 x 439140.6 = 1427.2 N

This is equivalent to a ‘weight’ of 1427.2/9.81 = 145kg

Note that this is the equivalent of a ‘g force’ of about 44,000g

Qu 2: Economical design

In the world of engineering design there are only three geometrical figures with equal sides that can fit together on a flat surface without leaving gaps. They are equilateral triangles, squares, and what’s the other one? Once you’ve got it, can you think of an example where you could find it designed by nature?

Answer: Hexagons. You can see an interesting article on how bees utilise these in creating their honeycombs

There’s also a hexagon structure in the Giant’s Causeway basalt rock formation. Have a look at

Qu 3: Entropy: states of disorder

Generations of engineering students, and some lecturers, have entered and left university without really understanding entropy; a measure of the state of disorder of a system. You have an entropy-machine in your house; your refrigerator. Here’s the question.

Does the operation of your refrigerator act to increase entropy or decrease entropy?

Here’s the answer

You can only get this answer correct if you refer to how you define the system boundaries (i.e. the theoretical closed system). If you consider the machine itself as the system boundary, the only way it can meet the 2nd law of thermodynamics is by taking more heat (and entropy) from outside itself) than it removes from the food it cools. The net effect of the machine itself is therefore to be an entropy increaser

If you consider the refrigerator and the kitchen as being the closed system then that system experiences a decrease in entropy as a consequence of the presence of the refrigerator.

And we haven’t considered what happens if you open the door yet. You can have a think about that one.

Qu 4: Alloying elements in metals

Which of these alloying elements is the odd one out?

  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Vanadium
  • Silver

That’s the easy question. Magnesium is the only one with an even number as recorded in the periodic table

Sodium 11
Magnesium 12
Vanadium 23
Silver 4


Matthews MasterclassCan you handle The MATTHEWS MASTERCLASS?

If you enjoyed this graduate-level quiz then why not try the Matthews Integrity MASTERCLASS challenge quiz and see how you do against our other website visitors.

It’s a test of your knowledge of Integrity Code and technical knowledge across several levels and type of equipment so it has a strong engineering bias rather than being purely academic. To match its MASTERCLASS designation you can’t expect it to be easy; in fact it is purposely designed to be tough. If you want to compete with your peers in the integrity industry, and see how good you really are, then just click the MASTERCLASS QUIZ

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