Torque Control of Friction Stir Welding

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CI39P
Agency Tracking Number: 100051
Amount: $99,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: T9.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
234 South Ewing Street, Guthrie, KY, 42234-9208
DUNS: 963592568
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Longhurst
 Principal Investigator
 (615) 289-1162
Business Contact
 William Longhurst
Title: Owner
Phone: (615) 289-1162
Research Institution
 Vanderbilt University
 John T. Childress
 2201 West End Ave
Nashville, TN, 37235-7749
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
Longhurst Engineering, PLC and Vanderbilt University propose the innovation of torque control of friction stir welding (FSW) as a replacement to force control of FSW. The value of the torque is significant because it indicates how far the tool is plunged into the work piece. Proper engagement of the tool into the work piece is critical for producing reliable welds.The commercialized innovation will consist of three elements. First, a FSW tool will be developed to produce a linear relationship between the welding torque and the tool's plunge depth into the work piece. Second, the welding torque will be measured from outside the welding environment via thespindle motor current, thus eliminating the need for expensive force sensors associated with force control. Third, a closed-loop architecture will be designed and implemented to control the welding torque. Torque control of FSW can be applied by NASA to increase welding reliability with the UpperStage of the Ares I launch vehicle. Torque control will also reduce capital investment and operations costs for NASA. The expected TRL is 4 at the beginning of the project and 5 at the end of Phase I.

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

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