What do an Airbus A400M, an Audi A8 and hot plates have in common? They are all processed using the so-called friction stir welding process during particular production stages. This pressure welding procedure makes it possible to bond aluminium alloys involving all kinds of compounds and processing types with each other. The procedure is not only environmentally-friendly, but it can also bond aluminium alloys, which are regarded as “being unsuitable for welding”.
The necessary, business understanding about the welding parameter/operating principle with regard to corrosion resistance, i.e. the reaction of the material to its environment, is still missing at this time; this, however, is essential for any widespread use of the friction stir welding process for aluminium wrought alloys in the AA7000 group. The LOEWE ALLEGRO cluster is aiming to close this gap with its research project entitled “Improving the corrosion resistance of friction stir welded aluminium structures”, which is being supported by the Industrial Collective Research programme (IGF). The aim is, among other things, to identify corrosion mechanisms, derive an experimental methodology for assessing corrosion, recognise the ideal welding parameters depending on the corrosion stress and transfer this information to practical situations.