Friction Stir Welding: Applications That Are Far Out and Close to Home. Liquid hydrogen, it’s a substance that has fascinated mankind since the 1800s. That’s when James Dewar unleashed it as well as his thoughts on vacuum flasks and regenerative cooling on to the world. At the time, many Americans were unsure about what liquid hydrogen could do but that would all change thanks primarily to NASA and its Centaur rockets. Although revolutionary, the upper stage rockets did pose a problem that until recently has continually vexed the government agency. It was one of tank integrity.
In case you’re not well versed in the matter, the tanks are notoriously fragile at the seams. Now thanks to friction stir welding, the agency may finally be rid of its inherent, tank fragility concerns for good. In July of this year, they put some of their friction stir welding theories to the test with the much publicized creation of a 300+ square foot tall, liquid hydrogen powered rocket. Nicknamed the SLS, the rocket’s fuel tanks were assembled using the previously mentioned welding techniques. Given the old tanks’ history of stress failure, these new ones were put to a series of rigorous tests, which they passed with apparent ease.
Thus, the agency has plans to continue using friction stir welding and perhaps your firm should consider doing the same. After all, if friction stir welding is capable of holding a 130 by 27.5 tank together in deep space, just think what its potential applications are here on earth. It’s a topic that many manufacturers have already delved into with much success. Examples include producers of commercial airlines, industrial machinery, heavy equipment, recreational and motor vehicles that all must consistently perform to specifications, regardless of environmental conditions.
With that said, please allow our American Hydroformers’ team to help you explore friction stir welding and the potential to better your firm’s products today. To get started on your quest for perfection, contact us at our Midwest headquarters.