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Celebrating 30 Years of Friction Stir Welding Innovation

Thu, 17 March, 2022

Friction stir welding (FSW) was invented at TWI in 1991 by Wayne Thomas and his team who were working on innovations in solid phase joining technologies.

Only 5 years after its invention, FSW was adopted by the marine industry, shortly followed by the space industry for rocket fuel tanks.

This new joining method combined improved efficiency and quality with lower costs. This allowed for increased productivity for a variety of joining applications and enabled widespread adoption across industry including high-speed rail carriages, personal computers, aircraft fuselage and electric vehicle battery trays.

TWI has continued to support FSW process and tool development, enabling innovations such as FSW of steel and titanium alloys, high speed welding and three-dimensional joint configurations. Innovation, both at TWI and elsewhere, has led to many advances for FSW, including the use of filler wire (AdStir) and its use to create cooling channels (Coreflow).

The invention and continued development of FSW demonstrate how TWI creates an atmosphere for impactful innovation, where ideas and people can make positive changes to the world around us.

You can find out more about the 30-year legacy of FSW at TWI here:

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