Published on 28 January 2013
An updated version of this case study is available: Novel system for high-tech welding at low cost
A European funded project to develop low cost friction stir welding technology is to be launched in October 2004.
It's a recently agreed initiative which TWI is backing as part of a multinational effort to put FSW into an increasing number of companies across Europe.
There are four SME partners (Applied Measurements Ltd (UK), Suffolk Precision Aerospace Ltd (UK), Fatronic System SA (Spain), Sigmapi Systems Ltd (UK)), three RTOs including TWI Ltd, Vyzkumny a Zkusebni Letecky AS (the Aeronautical Research and Test Institute of the Czech Republic)and Instytut Spawalnictwa (Poland), and two end users (BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd (UK), Sapa AB (Sweden)). The total project budget is 1.1MEuros.
FSW is not presently viable in many companies because of the high cost of dedicated FSW equipment.
The project, known as LOSTIR (Development of a low cost processing unit for friction stir welding), will develop economic FSW control systems and sensors that will allow FSW process development to be carried out by small companies.
The project will also develop detailed maps of process parameters for a range of materials and weld sizes. The full project output will provide many companies across Europe with a fast track economic path into FSW activities.
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