Macrostructure Integration via Friction Stir Welding (FSW)
Small Business Information
TEXAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE AUSTIN, INC.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
AbstractFriction 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.
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