Proven Friction Stir Welding Technology

Proven Friction Stir Welding Technology Brings Together Reliability and Affordability for NASA's Space Launch System

Friction stir welding uses frictional heating combined with forging pressure to produce high-strength bonds virtually free of defects. The welding process transforms metals from a solid state into a "plastic-like" state, and uses a rotating pin tool to soften, stir and forge a bond between two metal plates to form a uniform welded joint -- a vital requirement of next-generation space hardware.

"NASA is leveraging key technologies like friction stir welding from the Space Shuttle Program to design and manufacture the Space Launch System," said Todd May, SLS program manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "NASA's advancements in friction stir welding techniques used to manufacture the external tanks give SLS a head start in development while reducing program cost, increasing reliability and creating hardware with superior mechanical properties. This technology directly supports SLS' program tenets of safety, reliability and sustainability." 

More - at nasa [dor] gov.