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Improved Welding of Fibre-Reinforced Thermoplastics

Project Code: 0905-02


Perform statistically-designed friction stir welding trials on plaques made from glass fibre reinforced engineering polymers.

Design a series of novel corrugated hot plates and perform statistically-designed welding trials using these hot plates on glass fibre reinforced engineering polymers.

Determine the mechanical strength and microstructure of the friction stir and hot plate welded glass fibre reinforced polymers to determine whether the reinforcing fibres do cross the weld interface using these techniques and whether this improves the mechanical strength of the joints.

Project Outline

A number of 3-5mm thick plaques of glass fibre reinforced thermoplastics will be made or donated from Industrial Members. Up to four corrugated hot plates will be designed and made with different ridge/trough dimensions. Friction stir and hot plate welding trials will be carried out using design of experiments. The resulting welds will be mechanically tested using a short-term tensile test. The welds will also be sectioned and examined using optical microscopy and SEM to determine whether the fibres have crossed the weld interface.

Relevant Industry Sectors

Power, Road transport, Construction and engineering, Electronics and sensors

Technical and Economic Benefits

If reinforcing fibres can be induced to cross the weld interface this will lead to stronger welds, which in turn will lead to simpler joint designs and the use of less material in components. This will mean that components with the same mechanical performance can be produced at lower cost.

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