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Additive Manufacture by Friction Welding

Project Code: 0904-04


Establish the current status of additive manufacture as applied to high value components, including consideration of the range of possible materials and technologies, including friction welding processes.

Identify a number of representative parts suitable for additive manufacture by friction welding, and to produce a series of technology demonstrator components of relevance to a number of industry sectors.

Evaluate the weld structures and properties generated in the demonstration components, and to estimate the possible cost and time savings that can be achieved by the friction additive manufacturing approach.

Project Outline

This programme of work will identify a number of possible applications for additive manufacture by friction welding. Demonstration parts will then be produced using the three most commonly applied friction welding methods: rotary friction welding, linear friction welding, and friction stir welding. Each of these methods are best suited to particular part geometries, and particular families of workpiece materials.

Demonstration components, of relevance to a number of industry sectors, will be produced in a range of materials including aluminium alloys, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, and high performance steels. The parts produced will be assessed to investigate the structure of the welded areas, the response of this area to post weld heat treatment (where appropriate), and the final mechanical properties/performance of the part.

An economic assessment of each demonstration component will also be carried out, which will include consideration of the manufacturing costs (both recurring and non-recurring), the estimated production timescales, and the component quality/performance that can be achieved. The capabilities of friction welding methods in this area will then be compared with a number of alternative production methods.

Relevant Industry Sectors

Technical and Economic Benefits

Improved understanding and awareness of the capabilities and applications of friction welding for the additive manufacture of components.

Improved effectiveness and wider application of additive manufacture by friction technologies, leading to reduced material usage, and associated time/cost savings and environmental benefits.

Potential for novel component design and improved component performance via development and optimisation of friction welding techniques.

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