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New project on thick section friction stir welding

Connect, no. 120, September/October 2002, p.2

New project on thick section friction stir welding

TWI is launching a Group Sponsored Project on friction stir welding (FSW) of thick section aluminium. While FSW is widely used for joining materials up to 25mm thick, joining of thicker materials has not been explored in great detail. Despite this, the economics of FSW become more favourable as thickness increases as it is generally possible to make welds in one or two passes even at 50mm thickness.

Many industry sectors would benefit from thick section FSW, for example

  • Shipbuilding - production of hull and bulkhead plates
  • Aerospace - wing boxes, ribs etc
  • Construction - lightweight and portable bridge sections
  • Power - pressure vessels, LNG tanks
  • Electrical - bus-bars and other connectors
  • Defence - lightweight armour for vehicles and installations
  • Metals processing - joining slabs for subsequent processing

The project aims to develop FSW tools and procedures for joining thicknesses from 25 to >50mm in a variety of aluminium materials and to provide an initial evaluation of joint performance.

For more information, please contact us.

For more information please email:


contactus@twi.co.uk