- A design for the prototype machine has been developed which fulfils the specification requirements;
- A range of prototype components which can be fabricated by linear friction welding has been defined;
- A collaborative strategy for producing, marketing and selling low cost linear friction welding machines has been developed;
- The prototype machine has been fully assembled and was demonstrated to the public on 25 and 31 October 2001.
This proposal describes a project designed to drastically reduce the cost of linear friction welding equipment, in order to make the technology more accessible to European SMEs and other companies, and to put European SMEs in a strong position to supply what is firmly believed to be a large and sustainable market in Europe and the rest of the world. Linear friction welding is commercially, environmentally and technically a very attractive process, and is ideally suited to the both mass production of large part numbers, or to the manufacture of specialised components required in limited numbers. Although the process has been demonstrated for virtually all types of engineering alloys, the uptake of the process by industry has been impaired by the high capital cost of the equipment. Novel solutions have been devised to reduce the cost of the equipment, mainly based around more efficient use of the power sources required, by use of stored energy concepts. This should lead to a very substantial reduction in equipment cost.A feasibility study has established that the technical risks are manageable, and that the commercial opportunities could lead to very substantial sales worth an estimated 50Mecu within five years of market launch. The consortium consists of five SME companies from four countries, supported by one larger company, and two ROR organizations. Discussions amongst the Partners have established viable strategies for Project Management, Exploitation and Dissemination of information.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
DY9 8SH Stourbridge
CB1 6AL Cambridge