Thu, 21 January, 2021
TWI has partnered with EIA University in Medellín, Colombia to introduce friction stir welding (FSW) to the Colombian manufacturing industry. The team successfully designed and manufactured a friction stir welded aluminium component for a door actuator in a rail car.
The original part, produced by arc welding, was prone to fatigue failure, causing significant disruption to the Metro network. The redesigned FSW part has been in operation for six months and will serve as a demonstrator for the wider adoption of FSW in Colombia.
As part of the collaboration, TWI hosted a researcher from EIA University for six months for joint research, providing access to TWI’s FSW equipment for the component development trials. The results were shared through workshops with local manufacturing and welding businesses with the aim of introducing FSW as a complementary technology to existing arc welding and machining methods.
The next phase of the collaboration will include a utilities company which operates the country’s hydropower stations, accounting for 70% of Colombia’s energy production. TWI and EIA will support with the repair of existing metal components by introducing new manufacturing processes including FSW.
Run by the Royal Academy of Engineering and supported by the Newton Fund, the Industry Academia Partnership and the Transforming Systems through Partnership programmes are building engineering teaching, research and innovation capacity within partner countries' universities to collaborate with local stakeholders and UK academics in meeting local and global development challenges.