NASA Now: Engineering: Friction Stir Welding


[ Sound Effects ] Hi my name is Elizabeth Thiel. I’m from Komachin Middle
School in Washington state and you’re watching NASA Now. [ Sound Effects ] Hi, I’m Matt and
this is NASA Now. At NASA, every part
of the manufacturing and assembly process of
a spacecraft is critical to ensuring mission success. Today, we’ll meet an expert who explains the science
behind welding and why a weld that works on Earth doesn’t
mean it will hold up in space. That’s ahead, first here’s
what’s happening at NASA Now. [ Sound Effects ] Did water ever exist on Mars? Recent images taken from NASA’s
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that it could have. This image of the McLaughlin
Crater, stretching 57 miles wide by 1.4 miles deep,
shows layered, flat rocks containing
carbonate and clay minerals that usually form in
the presence of water. Scientists also observed small
channels close to the bottom of the crater that could have
marked the surface of a lake. This observation,
combined with the lack of any large inflow channels, suggest this may have
once been the site of a groundwater-fed lake. [ Sound Effects ] Building a spacecraft that
can withstand the rigors of space takes a lot
of testing and design. When the design is ready and
it’s time to build a prototype, that’s where welding engineer
Shane Brooke and hundreds of other people have a big role. Shane took some time to
give us a firsthand look at the important
role welding plays as human beings push further
and further into space. [ Music ] Welding is used on everything. We use it on engines. We use it on cryogenic tanks. It’s used with the space
frame of the shuttle. It’s used in electronics,
so there’s a wide array of welding processes that a lot
of people don’t give credit to, but that are, indeed,
welding processes. [ Music ] Generally speaking, there
are two types of welding. There’s fusion welding
and solid-state welding. Some of the fusion processes,
we’re more familiar with, you know, that’s
the stick electrode or the gas metal arc welding,
mostly what you find in shops and garages across America. The solid-state welding
is a bit different in that it doesn’t use melting. For example if we have this
complicated aluminum alloy, it’s difficult to
fusion weld some of these materials
that we create. But we can use the
friction stir process because it doesn’t
melt the material to join the two parts together. There is no external
heat source. It’s friction alone
to heat the material to reach this plastic
state, much like if you were to just rub your hands
together really hard and really fast,
you generate heat. [ Music ] There are two types of
friction stir welding. We classify them as
conventional and self-reacting. They both use similar
heating processes. Conventional has a
one-sided pin tool where we plunge into the part. We plasticize it, form it
into like a taffy or a putty. We have an anvil
behind the part. So as we plunge into the part,
the anvil reacts that load so the part doesn’t move, and
then it’s forged together. The self-reacting process
does not have an anvil. So we basically have a
shoulder on both sides pushing, canceling out the loads,
traversing through the joint. So as both shoulders rotate, the pin will traverse
through the joint. The material is plasticized
and forged together with a pinching load and we
have a perfectly welded part. [ Music ] Currently, we’re using
friction stir welding for large space vehicle
cryogenic tank production. These large vehicle tank
structures are aluminum, and aluminum, as we know, is
a softer metal than steel. So for the larger space
applications, it works great for cryogenic tank production. Looking towards the future at
different high-strength steels, we’re currently working on
friction stir technology that will allow us to weld
these higher strength steels. [ Music ] Not necessarily, different
materials have different properties at different
temperatures. So here on earth at 70 degrees a
weld may be great but if you get into space at -300 degrees
where it’s very, very cold now that weld may be very brittle. So we don’t want it to fail when
the astronauts need it most. We do all sorts of testing,
as you could imagine. There is testing called,
nondestructive evaluation, where we use ultrasonic
technology, x-ray technology, dye penetrate inspection, where
we inspect these welds to see if there are any surface
defects or volumetric defects. We also do mechanical testing where we will weld
up a test panel. We’ll cut it into strips, and we will mechanically
pull the weld until it fails. And then based on that
strength or that number, we know how strong that weld is. And then we can use
those numbers to factor how safe is
it to fly this vehicle. [ Sound Effects ] Did you know that
a material used to make jet engine fan
cases is also being used in sports and healthcare? Together, NASA and private
industry have developed a carbon fiber, reinforced composite. This braided, lightweight
material is being used to create jet engine fan
cases that are stronger and lighter-making them safer
and more fuel-efficient. This same technology is being
used to create more durable, lightweight sports equipment
and prosthetic devices. Now you know. [ Sound Effects ] You’ve just learned
how welding is critical to holding together a spacecraft
during the launch process and in the harsh
environment of space. Now it’s time to test your
own engineering ability. Here’s a great project where you and your students can build
a spacecraft structure strong enough to withstand three
successful launches. Look for Engineering
Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures. You’ll find it by checking
out the extension activity for this program on the NASA
Explorer Schools Virtual Campus. Well that’s it for NASA NOW. Be sure to visit our facebook
page and leave a comment. We’ll see you next
time on NASA NOW! [ Sound Effects ] NASA NOW comes to you
from the Virtual Campus at NASA Explorer schools.

8 thoughts on “NASA Now: Engineering: Friction Stir Welding

  1. NASA is ridiculous and fake CGI airbrushed green screen cartoon animations and fake images of space. NASA is a ridiculous demonic freemason government agency created by NAZIS.

  2. Double welding system and backing of inert gas with magnetic coupling
    Double automatic and simultaneous welding with magnetic coupling for industry

    Specification
    The invention refers to two complete welding heads and an inert gas (N) for external and internal (S) backing which work synchronously and magnetically coupled through two or more force fields of the two integrated systems of electromagnets or permanent magnets.
    The design of the (N) and (S) devices for welding and inert gas backing has on each side indistinctly, rolling paramagnetic aluminum plates.
    These plates house in their structure magnets or electromagnets of inverted polarity (N) (S).
    The rolling and articulated designs keep the coupling and the parallel alignment constant with each other, making it possible to weld the sides of the outer and inner material simultaneously with the independent power sources. (Page 12, 13 (N1) (S4)). The invention of the double head and magnetic coupling welding are designed to work on paramagnetic and diamagnetic materials compatible with the process.
    The equipment and system provides an exclusive technical solution to solve the physical obstacles of welding and gassing, with front and back purge, sheets and plates of various thicknesses of austenitic stainless steels and strategic materials such as titanium and aluminum.
    The food, laboratory, chemical, oil, nuclear and aerospace industries, together with their multiplicity of applications and technical levels of superior excellence, are the ideal center for the use of the system

  3. The invention and approach of this development lies in welding both sides (N) and (S) simultaneously, bringing the least amount of energy possible to melt the metal on both sides of the plate, precisely centering, locating and dosing the right amounts of the two most important elements, energy and gas.
    The invention allows the symmetrical distribution of caloric energy and inert gas with purge plus cooling on both sides of the plates simultaneously, directly impacting on the equilibrium of the external and internal stresses of the material, thereby achieving lower deformation indices with higher levels of strength and stability of welded structures by this method. (Page 12, 13)

  4. Double magnetic and automatic welding head (N) and (S) with inert backing of highly pure argon gas special for TITANIUM

    The double magnetic head welding and inert gas of this invention is the most suitable and advanced automatic welding system currently available for TITANIUM.

    Our double welding system is the only one in the world that meets the chemical and physical needs at high temperatures to technically weld correctly and automatically the TITANIUM.

    TITANIUM alloys are reactive at high temperatures and extremely permeable to atmospheric or surface contamination of fats, oils, etc.

    Properly welding TITANIUM means maintaining strict control of all parameters and the highest purity and hygiene of the whole process that is carried out at elevated temperatures at all possible angles.

    In order to weld TITANIUM, the fusion must be isolated as only this magnetic method can be carried out automatically in the present time in the world.

    The magnetic system isolates the fusion integrally from the front (N) and the back (S) simultaneously.

    Our double welding magnetic system maintains the purity and protects the TITANIUM first, then melts by raising the temperature and cools quickly in an inert atmosphere at all times.

    Our welding system respects TITANIUM chemically and maintains its metallurgical properties even after soldering to and including cooling.

    The inert gas soldering and backing magnetic system of this invention DOES NOT PERFORM perforations in the material as if it produces the friction system that is currently used to weld aluminum-only cryogenic tanks for space launches.

    Our magnetic invention overcomes today's friction stirring system.

    Our magnetic system welds STEEL, TITANIUM and ALUMINUM

    The friction and agitation system only works on aluminum acceptably at 426 °C (800 °F).

    The friction and agitation system only unites aluminum acceptably because the probe used wears out and leaves the debris inside the joints walls in steel and titanium.

    The friction system does not allow the use of inert gas on both sides and DOES NOT PROTECT the material from all angles, therefore producing brittle and contaminated joints with undesired debris inside the steel and preferably in the TITANIUM.

    Our invention of the magnetic system does not produce holes in any of the joints.

    Double Tig or Mig laser welding with inert gas without undesired mechanical forces in the material. Our welding system makes connections with the best technology nowadays available and protects with inert gas at all times, not making contact or contaminating the TITANIUM.

    The double magnetic control weld of this invention is constant along the path.

    Friction welding is not constant because the mechanical probe is being destroyed throughout the welding, polluting the parts and varying material flows if the temperature exceeds the resistance of the screw used in high melting alloys such as steel and titanium.

    The double soldering magnetic system is the only one in the world to regulate the torsion and tension of the welded plates and sheets, because it allows the energy to be sent independently to each side, allowing designers to direct the direction of twisting and material tensions previously, on the same design table. Engineers and designers with the dual welding magnetic system can direct the curvature of the aircraft wing previously, on the design table, calculating and quantifying the energy values applied to each side (N) and (S) of the plates of TITANIUM, magnesium and aluminum.

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