|Victors: Pham Thanh Trung (right) and Ngo Duc Thang (second from left) receive awards at the national VIFOTEC contest. — Photos vnexpress.net
Two 12th grade students from Ninh Binh Province won a prize for an invention that uses water to cut and weld stainless steel. It's even environmentally friendly and safe to use. Ha Nguyen reports.
Creating a welding machine that uses water to polish mica and cut stainless steel won students a prize at a contest by the Viet Nam Fund for Supporting Technological Creations (VIFOTEC).
The contest received 554 entries from pupils aged between 6 and 19 years from 49 provinces and cities.
Their schemes included teaching aids, IT software, household utensils, children's toys, environmental protection products and items to be used for economic development.
Two 12th grade students Pham Thanh Trung and Ngo Duc Thang, of the Nguyen Hue High School in the northern province of Ninh Binh, invested their time and passion to produce the machine that keeps users safe and reduces environmental pollution as well.
Although born to families where no other members had any connection with technology, Trung and Thang shared the same passion for researching technology since childhood.
"We had this dream to invent such a machine ever since we were in primary school," Thang said.
Their dream came true in 2012 when their scheme "Green Park Using Green Energy" won the second prize of the VIFOTEC.
"That prize encouraged us so much in creating other machines in the future," Trung said.
In 2014, when passing some engineering units and observing welders at work, the two friends recognised that all electric welding machines emanated a lot of harmful electric arcs at welders themselves and to the surroundings.
Meanwhile, the oxyacetylene welding machine had a complicated compressed air tank that could easily leak and cause a fire and explosion, apart from polluting the environment.
"We had the idea of creating a welding machine using water to weld and cut metal. We then told our teacher Dinh Khac Xuan and received his support and guidance," Thang said.
|Proud parents: Thang (left), Trung (right) and their creation, the welding machine.
Since June last year, the group began implementing the scheme but they faced a lot of difficulties such as lack of reference materials, particularly with regard to Vietnamese documents.
"We had to seek out reference materials from newspapers, books and the internet, as well as foreign documents relating to our research. We had to improve our English to read and understand these documents and how to apply them in reality," Trung said.
He said they had to search out and buy each piece of the part to be assembled from older water filters, washing machines and many other machines.
Their machine was completed by the end of last year but it could not operate.
"We had to dismantle and assemble the machine over and over again, but we did not lose hope," Trung said.
Finally, early this year, their machine was ready.
"It can cut all sorts of metal of 10mm size and can weld components with high fidelity requirement without using an added oxy tank because the quantity of oxygen was increasing during the process of electrolysis," Thang said.
Thang said the novelty about the machine was that it used water while operating, which caused no harm to the environment and saved costs for users, as compared to a normal welding machine.
The machine's price is about VND3 million compared with the VND5-6 million of a normal welding machine, which also needs up to 3.5 times the money to buy fuel. It is also easy to operate and safe for users, particularly those in remote and isolated areas, teacher Xuan said.
He said the machine made by the two students is new because Viet Nam does not have such a product yet.
"We hope to produce the machine on a larger scale to supply to users," Xuan said.
The two students plan to research and create a software programme which can be used by local and foreign tourists and travellers to search for a tourist site, a location for eating and drinking and experience Viet Nam.
"The programme aims to popularise Viet Nam across the world and helps guests to enjoy their comforts while touring the country," they said. — VNS