Portable Friction Stir Welding Technology for Aluminum Fabrication

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-09-C-0113
Agency Tracking Number: N074-032-0250
Amount: $499,967.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N07-T032
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Friction Stir Link, Inc.
W227 N546 Westmound Drive, Waukesha, WI, 53186
DUNS: 040722295
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Smith
 Vice President Engineering
 (262) 522-6680
Business Contact
 Bill Wilcock
Title: CEO
Phone: (713) 416-9736
Email: bwilcock@frictionstirlink.com
Research Institution
 University of Wisconsin - Madison
 Diane Barrett
 323 Mechanical Engineering Bdg
1513 University Ave.
Madison WI, WI, 53705
 (608) 262-3822
 Nonprofit college or university
In Phase I, technical and commercial feasibilty has been demonstrated for low force FSW processes that could be implemented onto a flexible and portable robotic system. The processes were implemented on a standard industrial robot, which could be integrated into a portable FSW system for fabrication of aluminum modules for ship superstructure. Two approaches were demonstrated, including a low force standard FSW process for welding 5xxx alloys and a self-clamping, self-reacting process. In addition, potential designs were shown that could enable FSW to be used for various assembly operations, including assembly of modules. This would allow FSW to be used throughout the shipbuilding process and not just for panel fabrication, allowing the benefits of FSW to be realized throughout the assembly process. Phase II seeks to further develop the low force processes, by continuing research and develompment to optimize the processes. Production capable processes will be developed. In addition, hardware and software development will occur to allow integration of a flexible, but yet portable robotic FSW system capable of adapting to the variation that is inherent in ship construction. A complete system will be integrated to demonstrate the ability to fabricate wide panels, attach stiffeners and girders, attach corners, and assemble panels into modules. A typical module used on a Littoral Combat Ship will be fabricated for demonstration purposes.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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