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Friction Stir Welding - Licensing

Friction stir welding was invented by Wayne Thomas at TWI in December 1991. TWI obtained patents for this worldwide (EP0615480 & others). The patents cover the basic friction stir welding process, but have now expired. TWI also holds all the rights to a second patent on the process which was filed by Midling et al. in January 1995 (EP0752926, US5813592 & others). The key innovation in the second patent is the enhancement of the vertical and horizontal movement of material to enable production of improved welds. This can be achieved in a number of ways, for example, by tilting the tool, by various pin profiles or by various shoulder profiles. All known implementations of FSW use this concept.

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TWI is pleased to offer non-exclusive licences to any potential users on reasonable commercial terms. Special arrangements are available for machine manufacturers, research institutes and universities. More than 230 organisations world-wide currently hold licences.

For further information concerning licensing, please e-mail ipr@twi.co.uk 

Known friction stir welding patents and patent applications

TWI collects information on patent and patent applications that involve friction stir welding.

The database is updated monthly. If you know of any patent applications that have been missed, please send details to ipr@twi.co.uk

TWI cannot supply copies of any of the listed applications. There are a number of web sites providing patent information and copies of patents, including Espacenet, which provides access to documents from a wide range of countries. Please note that TWI does not endorse or recommend any particular patent information web site and cannot be held responsible from information provided on such sites.

A MS-Excel file containing the latest report on FSW patents from the database is available for download below.