Solid State Friction Stir Welding
allows  the  plug  material  and  previously  welded
materials  to  fuse  together.  With  this  process,  no
Solid State Friction Stir Welding produces a stron 
external materials are used.
ger and more reliable weld than other types of weld 
UFSWS also allows welding of diverse material,
ing operations.  This welding operation also reduces
increases fatigue resistance by up to 30%, improves
and eliminates the need for consumable welding ma 
ductility,  prevents  fumes,  ensures  safe  operation,
terials, and reduces hazardous fumes.
reduces weld defects, welds tapered thickness joints,
and reduces and eliminates the need for external
The National Center for Advanced Manufactur 
materials.    UFSWS  also  eliminates  porosity  and
ing  (NCAM),  in  a  joint  venture  with  the  state  of
solidification cracking.
Louisiana, the National Aeronautics and Space Ad 
ministration  (NASA),  the  University  of  New  Or 
Use of LIght Detection and Ranging for
leans, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Com 
pany     Michoud  Operations,  researched  the
Ship Production
application of the Universal Friction Stir Welding
System (UFSWS).  The system eliminates the need
The University of New Orleans, College of Engi 
for consumable welding products and increases the
neering has been conducting research on the use of
strength of the welded surfaces.  Present technol 
LIght Detection and Ranging for ship production.
ogy allows only the welding of one side of two metal
items at a time.  For both sides to be welded, two
The  University  of  New  Orleans,  College  of
passes must be performed.  Furthermore, an exter 
Engineering s (UNO COE s) Gulf Coast Region Mari 
nal material must be used to join the two items (i.e.,
time Technology Center (GCRMTC)  conducted re 
welding rods), and when joining two metal surfaces,
search on the use of LIight Detection and Ranging
gases are expended.
(LIDAR) for ship production.  The LIDAR system is
UFSWS is performed by the use of a pin tool that
a unique technology in that it can take a three di 
rotates at a speed causing the metal to plasticize.
mensional scan of an object through multiple scans.
Two types of pin tools are used.  First, a retractable
This system can be used to determine the accuracy
pin tool, approximately the thickness of the mate 
and quality of as built modules and complete ves 
rial being welded, rotates at a speed allowing the
sels to greatly speed and improve the manufactur 
pin tool  to  penetrate  the  two  units  to  be  welded.
ing  process.  It  can  also  be  used  to  obtain  as built
The tool is pressed down into the two units until
drawings, and perform reverse engineering on as 
the  pin tool s  shoulder  impacts  the  two  surfaces.
built sub systems.
Once the shoulder contacts the surfaces, the rotat 
GCRMTC determined that the Riegl LPM 25HA C
ing pin tool will generate enough frictional heat to
LIDAR as one system that is suitable to the ship 
plasticize the metal edges.  When this occurs, the
yard production environment based on range, data
pin tool traverses along the weld seam and plasti 
collection rate, accuracy, and eye safety.  Acquir 
cizes the metal generating a combination of extru 
ing multiple scans of an object from different views
sion and forging.  After the tool moves away from
is needed because LIDAR scanners can only cap 
the plasticized metal, it solidifies to become solidly
ture  data  from  one  perspective.    PolyWorks  and
welded yielding a ductile, high strength, solid state
MENSI 3Dipsos 2.4c software is being used to com 
weld.  The second pin tool is self reacting where a
bine scans to form one point cloud and produce 3D
hole is drilled between the two items to be welded.
models and conventional 2D drawings.  The accu 
The  self reacting  pin tool  has  two  shoulders  that
racy of  two mating assemblies that are to be fit 
impact the front and back of the items being welded
ted can be determined using PolyWorks IMAlign
and a pin that goes through them.  In a similar pro 
software.    The  alignment  error  as  a  function  of
cess, as is performed with the retractable pin tool,
position is graphically represented.  The alignment
the metal edges are plasticized, mixed together, and
error can then be corrected.
re solidified.  This operation allows the pin tool to
Interior and exterior measurements of a ship or a
weld the full thickness of the metal being welded,
building and numerous other shipyard applications
which ensures welding on both faces at the same
can be easily acquired through LIDAR.  GCRMTC
time.  At the end of this process, only a hole is left to
plans to introduce and train the shipbuilding indus 
plug.  A special plug has been manufactured that
try on the use of LIDAR.
9
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