Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Process-Integrated Inspection for Ultrasound-Supported Friction Stir Welding of Metal Hybrid-Joints


Ever faster, ever lighter, ever increasing energy efficiency: Lightweight construction is one of the key technologies of today’s industrial production. By now, saving of weight, material and energy applies across industries while taking account of the entire product life cycle. In this manner the realization of innovative lightweight structures as well as the combination of dissimilar materials play an essential and mandatory role to meet the divergent requirements, components are expected to fulfill. Hence joining technologies are of crucial importance for any kind of goal-driven lightweight construction.

Fraunhofer IZFP researchers aim for process-integrated inspection of the error-prone seam zones of friction stir welded components. In doing so, they significantly contribute to the reduction of costs and wastage at concurrent saving of time.

X-ray image of a FSW seam

Fraunhofer IZFP

As a novel, forward-looking joining technology, Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is an easily applicable, clean and innovative process especially suited for light metals and increasingly applied in automotive industry, machine construction and aerospace engineering. Unlike most conventional joining techniques it enables considerable weight saving, thus complies the goals of lightweight construction.

In order to extend existing application limits, a variant of FSW called “Ultrasound-Supported Friction Stir Welding” (US-FSW) was developed. To guarantee a steadily high quality of weld seams and to identify possible process fluctuations, the application of nondestructive inspection methods is indispensable for both variants: Quality has to be ensured during all phases of the process and defects or imperfections with possibly negative impact on the weld seam durability – such as pores and cracks – have to be detected.

Concerning nondestructive testing (NDT), FSW is subject to similar principles as conventional welding procedures. The application of high-performance, reliable and cost-efficient NDT to assess the quality of the produced joints enables a considerable extension of FSW’s application range.

“The spectrum of procedures provided at Fraunhofer IZFP allows to obtain a holistic view of the entire process. This goes much further than typical ways of inspection such as the post-process detection of irregularities. Our approach enables to increase efficiency even before and during the welding operation and to monitor the joining process. As a consequence we find greatly widened fields of application for FSW,“ Dr. Benjamin Straß, group leader within Fraunhofer IZFP’s “Production-integrated NDT” department, explains.

The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG. Within the scope of this project, Fraunhofer IZFP‘ researchers develop methods to optimize process parameters, to detect possible defects in the joining area and to characterize alterations of the material properties of friction stir welded hybrid-joints.

“To our institute, such a fundamental research project offers the incentive to test and to develop new approaches which partially can be transferred to further production technologies. By this, new potential clientele can be attracted. Even beyond the boundaries of this project there is a regular communication and exchange of experiences between the research institutions in the priority program*. Hereby, new and interesting contacts arise regularly,“ Straß concludes.

Weitere Informationen:

Sabine Poitevin-Burbes | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht Lightweight robots in manual assembly
13.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht High-purity plastic parts: the search for inclusions
25.07.2016 | CTR Carinthian Tech Research AG

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>