TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 1039/2013
By A J S Robelou and M Bömcke
Friction welding techniques offer the potential for solid phase additive manufacture to build up semi-finished, close to net shape products by the sucessive welding of relatively simple shapes. This approach can dramatically reduce the volume of raw material used and the extent of machining required in part production. This project considered selection criteria to identify suitable parts for manufacture and the possible cost and time savings provided by friction additive manufacture have been estimated.
Purchase prices and machining costs for high performance materials are currently very high, especially for titanium and nickel alloys. Delivery times also tend to be restrictive, particularly for thick section forms (150mm and above) and/or large volume requirements. For other materials, such as high strength aluminium alloys and high performance steels, machining costs are reduced, but purchase costs can still be high.
- Working closely with an aircraft manufacturer a component (the L-Frame clip) was identified which was suitable for near net shape manufacture by LFW.
- A technical review has been carried out on a set of L-Frame clips and has confirmed parent material properties can be achieved across the welded component following application of a suitable post-weld heat treatment.
- The economic assessment revealed that LFW can offer significant cost and time savings when comparing to machining from solid. This saving will be significantly dependant on the shape of the component, number of components to be manufactured and the material which is being used