TWI has been using a new, more accurate approach to modelling friction stir welding (FSW) which has the potential to reduce reliance on experimental trials and cut the cost of FSW process adoption.
Friction stir welding is a joining technology with a proven track record in producing high-strength, low-distortion joints with excellent fatigue and corrosion properties across a wide range of applications from aerospace components to consumer goods.
One of the key challenges with FSW of high-temperature materials is the inability of the tool material to withstand the heat and forces generated during the process without losing strength or suffering excessive wear. Existing modelling techniques struggle to simulate this, and to accurately predict the influence of tool geometry on the integrity of the weld.
To address these challenges, TWI has been exploring the use of a new modelling approach: the Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) method.