CFSP - South Dakota School of Mines & Technology - Friction stir welding has shown the potential to repair defective or damaged areas in metals, and to reduce scrap rates in welded parts by reworking select areas. Parts repaired this way showed an enhancement in fatigue performance returning it to a level comparable to the unaffected base material.
This demonstrates the potential to repair damaged parts to like new condition, presenting significant cost savings, and a reduced environmental impact. That is because it generally takes much less energy to repair a part than to make an entirely new part and reycle or dispose of the old one.
Many of the aircraft flying today do not have approved repair procedurs using today's advanced materials processing technologies, like friction stir welding, because they were not common practice or invented when the planes were first designed and qualified. Consequently, many parts are simply replaced rather than repaired. This study is working at answering the important questions that need to be understood in order to begin taking advantage of these new developing technologies.
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