TWI Ltd - Articles and news items
Since the invention of friction stir welding (FSW) at TWI in 1991, companies from all parts of the world have implemented the process, predominantly in the fabrication of aluminium components and panels. Friction stir welded structures are now revolutionising the way in which trains, metro cars and trams are built.
Whether rail vehicles are made from steel, stainless steel or aluminium, the search for lower cost, robust designs is never ending. For the case of aluminium, complete trains are being assembled from hollow aluminium extrusions and prefabricated panels. Recent investigations into the crashworthiness of aluminium railcars have clearly demonstrated the benefits of using innovative joint designs and optimised procedures for metal inert gas (MIG) and friction stir welding (FSW).