Friction Stir Welding

Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a joining process that offers significant advantages over conventional arc welding methods, especially for thick aluminum vehicle structures

. FSW utilizes friction between the welding tool and material to heat (but not melt), soften, and “stir” material across the joint to produce a solid-state weld. Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) has repeatedly proven the superior performance and cost effectiveness of FSW relative to other conventional welding solutions. FSW circumvents or minimizes many arc welding difficulties. CTC has experience developing FSW processes and equipment for ground vehicle structures, trailer beds, ship deck structures, and more. FSW technology can also be used in the aerospace, automotive, robotic, and other industries.

Benefits of FSW Compared to Arc Welding:
  • Creates improved mechanical properties (static, fatigue, damage tolerance)
  • Reduces post-weld rework and fit-up issues
  • Enables joining of dissimilar alloys with equal/better joint properties than joints made of lesser alloy
  • Enables joining of different product forms
  • Employs a much simpler process (Computer Numerical Control [CNC]) with fewer variables to control in manufacturing
  • Requires less operator training than traditional aluminum arc welders
  • Provides significantly higher production rates for thick materials
  • Minimizes environment, health, and safety concerns – “Green”

What We Can Do For You
Services and Solutions:
  • Design for FSW manufacturability
  • Tool/fixture design & fabrication
  • Process development & optimization
  • Mechanical testing & analysis
  • Demonstration article fabrication
  • Low-rate initial production
  • FSW equipment design & fabrication
  • Implementation
  • Additive Manufacturing via FSW
  • Research
  • Training
Materials & Processes:
  • Thin-sheet to four+ inches thick aluminum
  • Alloys 2000, 5000, 6000, 7000 series aluminum
  • Hybrid variations of alloys
  • Additive Friction Stir (patented by Aeroprobe)
  • Friction Stir Forming
  • Processing equipment can be custom or performed on conventional machine centers
Specialized Equipment:
  • Flexible fixtures for routine and special requirements
  • Full load and torque cell instrumentation on 8-axes of motion
  • Real-time monitoring for R&D and process optimization
  • Physical Specifications:
    • 26’ x 12’ 9” x 20” work envelope
    • X-axis: 12 kips; 60 in/min (primary horizontal)
    • Y-axis: 12 kips; 26 in/min (vertical)
    • Z-axis: 30 kips; 10 in/min (plunge)
    • Spindle: 1,500 lbf-ft; 700 rpm

Extensive Friction Stir Welding Equipment, Experience, and Expertise
Ideal Process for Large Structures
FSW machine
This large FSW machine is ideal for process development, prototyping, and fabrication of large structures.

Seaming Together Large Plates
Seaming Together Large Plates
We can create the necessary plate size from standard mill run stock plates and seam together large plates such as these three 4' x 12' plates.

Low-Cost FSW Machine for the Littoral Combat Ship Program
Low-Cost FSW Machine
CTC developed a transportable FSW machine to be used on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. CTC’s team designed and produced the machine leveraging fixed geometry welding tool technology. The machine's functionality and quality were proven through the production and testing of numerous representative panels and joints.

FSW Additive Manufacturing with Dissimilar Alloys
FSW Additive Manufacturingwith Dissimilar Alloys
CTC developed FSW thick layer techniques to additive manufacture (AM) complex multi-alloy structural components. FSW-AM blended dissimilar alloys create the ability to embed high strength alloys into structural components and engineer the load paths with the desired alloy characteristics. With this technique, CTC leverages innovative designs to make lightweight but stronger structures compared to traditional designs.

Making Vehicle Structures Stronger and More Battlefield Survivable
FSW machine
Ground Combat Vehicle Hulls
OPSEC SOP # 29698

FSW machine
Paladin Howitzer
U.S. Army photo

FSW machine
Assault Amphibious Vehicle
USMC photo

FSW machine
Concept for Advanced Military Explosion-mitigating Land Demonstrator (CAMEL)
U.S. Army photo

Why Concurrent Technologies Corporation?
Concurrent Technologies Corporation is an all-encompassing service provider for Friction Stir Welding solutions. Our experts have more than 30 years’ experience in solving metalworking issues, including metallic materials characterization and testing, as well as building prototype and production hulls and subsections. In addition, we have one of the largest FSW machines in the world.

Concurrent Technologies Corporation’s quality management system is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 (Quality) and 14001:2004 (Environmental) standards. Its for-profit affiliate, Enterprise Ventures Corporation (EVC), is certified to the AS9100 standard for aerospace activities.

Contact us for your Friction Stir Welding solutions.