Published on 28 January 2013
When engineers at one of the world’s leading aircraft engine manufacturers needed training in how to linear friction weld titanium they found the Yellow Pages somewhat lacking. TWI however was able to offer such specialist instruction.
'Three of their engineers came from overseas for a week and stayed in Cambridge' recalls team leader Phil Threadgill. 'And three of us from TWI spent much of our time with them in the classroom. The remainder was spent in the lab on one of our own linear friction welding machines. All tuition was supported with course notes and PowerPoint slides.
The only current application of linear friction welding of metals is for joining compressor blades to disks, although other applications are in various stages of development. These are known as integrally bladed disks or blisks and, obviate the need for extensive machining from solid block.
The client's first need was to establish that the quality of the welds performed at TWI met their requirements using simple rectangular sections of the chosen material. Tooling required to hold a blade and disk of complex geometry was treated as a separate issue altogether.
Most of the client's work at TWI was directed towards titanium. 'And now we're working on a variety of other materials' says Threadgill, 'Stainless steel, nickel, copper, aluminium and steel.'
For further information about TWI’s capabilities please see Joining Technologies or contact us.