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Welding of airframes by friction stir


Project timeline
March 2000
36 months
February 2003
General Information
Airframes are made by mechanically factening subcomponents together or by integrally NC machining them from solid material. Mechanical fastening suffers from a weight penalty, difficulty of automation, requirement for sealants and corrosion problems. NC machining is a wasteful process in terms of time, energy and raw material. Welding can provide cost savings of up to 30% and weight savings of up to 10%. FSW has great potential for manufacturing airframes. Therefore the objective of the WAFS project is to, advance the state of the art of Friction stir Welding (FSW) to enable the widespread adoption of the technology to primary structures in airframes. Project outputs and areas of innovation will be FSW tool designs and process parameters; new techniques for improvement of properties of joints made with FSW; repair procedures dor FSW; design data and rules in airframe applications and modelling tools for FSW.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaFP5-GROWTH-1999, New perspectives in aeronautics, Reducing aircraft development cost and time to market
Project TypeRTD
Contract NumberG4RD-CT-2000-00191
Co-ordinatorBAE Systems Ltd. (UK)
Total Eligible Costs (€) Hereon Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Norbert Huber, Institute of Materials Research, phone: +49-4152-87 2500 (initial contact: Dr. Mustafa Kocak, Institute of Materials Research)
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

Aerospatiale Matra CCR (FR), Alenia Aerospazia (IT), BAE SYSTEMS Ltd. (UK), Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (ES), Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG (DE), Daimler Chrysler Aerospace Airbus GmbH (DE), Daimler Chrysler AG (DE), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt DLR (DE), Institut de Soudure (FR), Pechiney S.A. (FR), Risö National Laboratory (DK), Societe Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aeronautiques (BE)

(completed February 2003)

Last Update: 16. April 2021