Friction stir welding (FSW) is now considered mature for simple applications and it has been shown that weight savings of up to 15% and cost savings of 20% can be achieved by its application. As a result FSW will be used in future Airbus aircraft such as A350. All major European airframe manufacturers believe that there are many more applications for FSW in the fabrication of cost effective integral metallic structure. Examples include circumferential joints, tailored blanks, window frames, stringer to skin attachment, spars, enclosed sections and fittings. Major technical advances need to be made beyond the current state of the art for FSW and integral metallic structure to achieve this. It is also necessary for FSW to be able to be applied to new geometries. Therefore the objective for the proposed COINS project is: Extending the application of integral metallic structure utilising friction stir welding by: advancing the state of the art of FSW technology; developing new geometries for FSW; and through innovations in design. To achieve this objective the following activities are planned WP1. Updating process and test standards WP2. Production of integrated design solutions for structure containing FSW, including effects of other manufacturing processes, residual stresses and cracks. WP3. Development of new applications for FSW including new alloys, the use of extrusions/forgings and techniques for applying FSW to new geometries. WP4. Development of in production and in-service repair procedures plus the development of FSW as a repair tool. WP5. Integration of FSW into the whole manufacturing cycle by combining with prefabricated parts and forming techniques, including creep-age forming. WP6. Development of the primary FSW process innovations needed to realise the new applications. To deliver this programme a partnership consisting of 8 end-users, a material supplier, an equipment provider, 3 research organisations and 2 Universities has been assembled.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project