Macrostructure Integration via Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-06-C-3618
Agency Tracking Number: F051-239-1823
Amount: $385,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-239
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
DUNS: 625120902
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Chip Beebe
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 263-2101
Business Contact
 Monte Fellingham
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Research Institution
Friction stir welding (FSW) can produce stronger, lighter, and more efficient welds than any previous process. In aluminum assemblies, FSW provides improved joint strength, fatigue properties and crack resistance compared to conventional arc welded or riveted joints. One of the current barriers to widespread use of FSW is that the process generally requires the use of clamping systems that are often cumbersome, complex, and expensive. During Phase I, Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc. (TRI/Austin) and Remmele Engineering, Inc. (Remmele) developed and demonstrated a new and innovative friction stir welding process enhancement, by which components can be efficiently friction stir welded without the need of expensive and cumbersome clamping systems. This new technology can make the FSW process more affordable by decreasing tooling costs and preparation time, and can increase assembly rates. TRI/Austin and Remmele anticipate that this technology will facilitate the design of FSW assemblies that would otherwise be impractical due to the difficulty of clamping the components. During Phase II, TRI/Austin and Remmele will further develop and demonstrate this process enhancement, with the ultimate goal of manufacturing an all-aluminum version of the F/A-22 Canted Inlet that meets all design requirements, but is less costly than the current design.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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