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CASiM² project: Rotary Friction Weld Simulation

Researcher(s): Richard Turner, Bhaskar Thota

Collaborator(s): Jeff Brooks, Hector Basoalto, Anas Yaghi (the MTC)

The CASiM2 project is a joint University of Birmingham / Rolls-Royce plc / Airbus / the MTC collaborative venture, sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aiming to promote the use of computational modelling techniques within the West Midlands region and assist local Small-Medium Enterprise businesses (SME's) to better understand manufacturing methods by these computational modelling methods.

Rotary Friction welding describes the solid-state joining teachnique whereby one stationary part and one rotating part are brought in to contact. The frictional heating generated at the interface causes a softening and a plasticising of the interfacial material, under an axial load. Eventually a coalesced weldline is produced, which has not raised the material above the solidus temperature, hence remaining in the material's "solid-state-phase" throughout processing. There are several methods of prescribing the rotational velocity of the one component; (i) either it is attached to a flywheel with a given amount of inertial energy, and this spins the part until the energy has been disspiated - called Inertia Welding, (ii) the rotating part is attached to a motor which constantly drives the rotation at a fixed speed - called Direct Drive Welding, (iii) A combination of an inertial flywheel and a motor provide a variable energy input depeneding upon the process - called Hybrid Welding.

A computational model for the three methods of Rotary Friction Welding would allow far greater understanding of the temperatures experienced, the residual stresses generated and the distortions induced by the process. The FE software Deform is being used, to develop the modelling capability which was initially built within a collaborative project between the University of Birmingham, the University of Nottingham, Wilde FEA and Rolls-Royce plc. Considering the welding of a number of materials, namely the commonly used titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V, and the CrMoV steel SCMV.

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