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Airbus Exclusive Webinar on Refill FSSW

Webinars 21 June 2021

Airbus Exclusive Webinar: Refill Friction Stir Spot Welding (Refill FSSW) Aluminium for Aerospace Applications


Aircraft structures are commonly assembled using single lap or double lap joints. Mechanical fastening has been the most popular joining solution for aerospace structures. Flush head solid rivets are extensively used in load-bearing aircraft joints as they are fit for purpose and have well-established standards and specifications. However, the consumables are bespoke to a thickness application and pre-joining operations like drilling and deburring are required. Moreover, galvanic protections are essential, especially when using fasteners made from a material that is dissimilar to the structure. Finally, riveting also adds non-neglectable weight to the aircraft structure when used in large scale (around 6t in large commercial aeroplanes).

Refill friction stir spot welding (Refill FSSW) is the latest variant of the Friction Stir Welding process, which has clear advantages compared to other mainstream mechanical fastening processes. This talk will provide an introduction to the refill FSSW process, its current state of development and industrial uptake as well as the benefits of applying this technology for a variety of products.

Continuous Professional Development

TWI awards points towards CPD for delegates attending this webinar. Every hour attendance of an event will earn 2 points towards your continuing professional development.

Please contact if you require a certificate of attendance towards your continuing professional development.   

Meet the team

Kate Franklin - Senior Project Leader – Friction and Forge Processes

Kate Franklin

Senior Project Leader – Friction and Forge Processes

Kate has a degree in Materials Science and a Ph.D. in Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbine Applications from the University of Birmingham. Kate’s research was undertaken in collaboration with Rolls-Royce Plc and focused on friction welding of nickel super alloys.

Since joining TWI, Kate has led friction welding projects employing a variety of materials for a range of industrial applications. As well as working with clients to research and develop friction welding processes for novel applications, she also considers design for manufacture and joint integrity.

Mr Richard Freeman - Associate Director

Mr Richard Freeman

Associate Director

Richard Freeman has also worked in the composites industry (Courtaulds) and served an apprenticeship in the steam turbine industry at NEI Parsons.

He obtained an honours degree in Metallurgy from Sheffield University in 1987, and a PhD in wear and corrosion resistant materials for aircraft actuation systems in 1994, while in full time employment with Lucas Aerospace.

Richard looks after the TWI customer base in the transport sector (aerospace and defence, automotive, rail and ship building) and sits on the AWS D17 committee for welding in the aerospace industry. He is TWI's representative on the Nadcap Welding Task Group, and also represents TWI on the Executive Committee of the UK Titanium Information Group and the UK Offset Strategy Group.

He assists TWI's Professional Division as the Professional Review Interviewer for MWeldI, SenMWeldI and CEng applications.

Dr Pedro Santos IEng - Pedro Santos - Senior Project Leader

Dr Pedro Santos IEng

Pedro Santos - Senior Project Leader

After finishing high school in STEM subjects such as Mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry, Pedro received his MSc Degree in Mechanical Engineering from NOVA School of Science and Technology in Portugal. As part of his industrial placement at The Welding Institute (TWI, Ltd), his MSc thesis focused on the optimisation of Friction Stir Welding process parameters and industrialization to produce tailor welded blanks for lightweight transport application, a project sponsored by Innovate UK (LightBlank).

His PhD research, co-funded by the Industrial Members of TWI as part of the Core Research Programme and Coventry University, focused on the development of the Refill Friction Stir Spot Welding (Refill FSSW) process for lightweight aerospace applications.Pedro is currently working as a senior project leader in TWI’s Friction and Forge Processes section, managing client relationships and the delivery of projects involving friction welding technologies, predominantly for the aerospace and space sectors.

Due to his experience in engineering projects, Pedro is affiliated with the Engineering council and The Welding Institute. As an active STEM ambassador, he frequently presents and supports workshops on engineering related topics to audiences ranging from Year 1 to sixth form students.

For more information please email: