Friction Stir Welding of Airframe Structure: From One Delivery System to Another 2003-01-2897
Metal airframe structure for commercial aviation has traditionally been constructed from riveted and bolted built-up assemblies. This approach has led to complex assemblages joined together by numerous fasteners. Friction Stir Welding (FSW) holds promise for reducing this complexity within certain areas. 747F cargo nose barrier beams were selected as the first application of a special lean technology transfer program undertaken 1) to demonstrate and document the potential benefit of FSW and 2) to optimize the efficiency of the 7075-T6 plate-to-extrusion joints of the beams. Mechanical test results from this program showed that a stable and reliable process, as evidenced by a consistent level of tensile properties, is provided by FSW.