In-Space Friction Stir Welding Machine

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$125,000.00
Program:
STTR
Contract:
NNX13CM30P
Solitcitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2013
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
120067
Solicitation Topic Code:
T12.02
Small Business Information
Longhurst Engineering, PLC
234 South Ewing Street, Guthrie, KY, 42234-9208
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
963592568
Principal Investigator
 George Cook
 Associate Dean
 (615) 322-2762
 george.e.cook@vanderbilt.edu
Business Contact
 William Longhurst
Title: Business Official
Phone: (615) 289-1162
Email: russlonghurst@gmail.com
Research Institution
 Vanderbilt University
 Jeffrey Newman
 2301 Vanderbilt Place, PMB407749
Nashville, TN, 37240-37240
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Longhurst Engineering, PLC, and Vanderbilt University propose an in-space friction stir welding (FSW) machine for joining complex structural aluminum components. The proposed FSW machine is innovative because it can be deployed by 2 people and be used to weld complex surfaces that extend beyond linear welding applications. The in-space FSW machine is a 3 axis system that can be mounted to work pieces of varying geometry, position, and orientation through the use of a high performance vacuum system or mechanical clamps. The key enabler of the proposed FSW machine is a self adjusting and self aligning FSW (SAA-FSW) tool that eliminates the need for automated actuators. In addition, a collection of force reduction techniques will be included as part of the system. When combined together, it is theorized that the effect will be significant and will lead to the advancement of FSW by reducing structural rigidity requirements of FSW machines.Our work plan begins by determining the net effect of the combined force reduction techniques. Substantial effort is given to the development of a preliminary SAA-FSW tool which includes experimental welding. Lastly, a preliminary set of engineering plans will be delivered based upon the results from the development of the SAA-FSW tool and force reduction techniques.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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