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Pedro Santos brings innovation to pass 2nd year of his PhD

Mon, 13 May, 2019

NSIRC PhD student, Pedro Santos has successfully completed the second year review and has now progressed to the final year of his studies.

Having begun his PhD in May 2017 in partnership with Coventry University, his initial research scope was to establish the feasibility and compare the mechanical properties of single-lap dissimilar material welding using the Refill Friction Stir Spot Welding (RFSSW) process. The results from this investigation would be compared with other mechanical fastening and fusion spot welding technologies used in the automotive industry.

After an in-depth review of the published research and an analysis of the knowledge gaps in the field, his research focus was shifted towards RFSSW tool development and optimisation. His research has used tools provided by the equipment supplier (Kawasaki heavy industries) as a baseline, allowing Pedro to assess and develop improvements to the process including experimentation with various tool materials and geometries. 

His studies are of particular interest to the aerospace industry given the emphasis on joining aluminium, which is widely used by manufacturers including BAE Systems and GKN Aerospace. Pedro has already presented some of his initial findings to the TWI Research Board, which includes a number of aerospace experts and industry employees, with positive feedback.

With his up-to-date results set to be published in a journal, Pedro is now ready to embark on his third and final year, where he will complete his experiments and write-up his thesis. 

Pedro’s PhD is a good example of how TWI has been able to use the structure of NSIRC to develop both staff and capabilities, while tapping into university facilities to provide important innovation for industry.

Pedro Santos
Pedro Santos

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