Special Joining Technologies

Lightweight design which follows the principle “correct material in the right place” leads more and more to multi-material design approaches. These designs require a special rethinking in selecting suitable joining technologies, since especially multi-material joints, but also additive manufactured work pieces, novel aerospace alloys and cast alloys are hard-to-weld or not weldable.

To meet these challenges, Fraunhofer IWS is advancing special joining technologies like friction stir welding (FSW) and electromagnetic pulse welding (MPW). These joining processes are perfectly suitable for joining different metal combinations. Since these processes do not melt the base materials, the generation of brittle intermetallic phases can be reduced to a minimum.

The research activities at Fraunhofer IWS focus on the process development and prototyping but also on the development of novel system technologies.



Novel system technology for friction stir welding of large-scale aircraft components

This friction stir welding machine consists of a novel clamping system suitable for three-dimensional curved weld seam geometries and an autonomous moving combined welding/milling robot (trolley) that moves along the clamping system.


Friction stir welding for aerospace applications - Research on lightweight and efficient metal aircraft fuselages

For more than a decade, Fraunhofer IWS engineers and scientists have been researching joining technologies and industrial concepts to reduce the production costs and time of manufacturing lightweight aircraft fuselages.