TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 877/2007
By M E Nunn
Friction stir welding (FSW) is mostly applied in industry using large, heavy, stationary equipment. The use of lightweight portable equipment for manufacture and repair activities is desirable for many applications, but at this time no commercially available, versatile systems are known.
The proposed benefits of portable FSW are:
- The possibility of applying FSW in remote locations.
- The possibility of in-situ repair or addition of components to large structures.
- Increased process versatility, leading to extended industrial application.
The report 'Review of Systems for Portable FSW Equipment' issued in 2005 identified applications for such equipment and reviewed existing and proposed systems for implementing the technology. Details of, and solutions to, some of the technical challenges that may restrict the portability of the process were also discussed.
The report 'Specification of Portable FSW Equipment' issued in 2006 was intended as an introduction to the technical requirements of equipment for making the friction FSW of aluminium alloy sheet material a portable process. The report defined the numerical parameters and operational characteristics of a system capable of use in given applications.
Based on the technical and application specific requirements defined in previous work, this report gives a review of electromechanical systems and control techniques for portable FSW equipment. A conceptual system is proposed which would meet the requirements of the application scenarios defined in previous work.
The objectives of this work are as follows:
- To review electromechanical sub-systems for use when designing a portable FSW machine capable of making repair welds in pre-defined application scenarios.
- To produce a conceptual design for a portable FSW machine capable of making repair welds in pre-defined application scenarios.