TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 851b/2006
By M E Nunn
Friction stir welding (FSW) is currently 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 system exists.
The proposed benefits of portable friction stir welding are:
- The possibility of applying friction stir welding in remote locations.
- 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 friction stir welding 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.
This report is intended as an introduction to the technical requirements of equipment for making the friction stir welding of aluminium alloy sheet material a portable process.
The objective of this work is to specify the technical requirements for portable friction stir welding equipment capable of making welds in pre-defined application scenarios.