TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 1027/2012
By A J Robelou and M J Russell
Purchase prices and machining costs for high performance materials are currently relatively high, especially for titanium and nickel alloys. Delivery times may also be restrictive, particularly for thick section forms and/or large volume requirements. For other materials, such as high strength aluminium and high performance steels, machining costs may be more modest, but purchase costs can still be relatively high.
Friction welding techniques (including rotary friction welding (RFW), linear friction welding (LFW), and friction stir welding (FSW)) offer the potential for an additive manufacturing approach to be used to build up near net shape parts. This is achieved by the successive welding of relatively small/simple shapes to each other, and/or to a base component. The approach can be used to dramatically reduce the volume of raw materials needed, decrease the cost of the part (when compared to machining from solid), reduce the overall production timescales and limit the amount of energy consumed.
This project aims to identify and demonstrate possible applications for friction additive manufacture in a number of industry sectors. This project will generate and assess a series of demonstration test pieces/samples, in a range of high performance alloys, in order to showcase the potential for manufacture using friction welding. The results of the review of the potential for friction additive manufacturing, and the production of two demonstration components, are detailed in this report.
- To establish the current status of additive manufacture by friction welding, as applied to high value added components, including consideration of the range of possible materials and friction welding processes.
- To identify a number of representative parts suitable for additive manufacture by friction welding, and to produce technology demonstrator components of relevance to a number of industry sectors.