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Friction Processing Research Unit

NMMU is one of the few tertiary institutions in South Africa conducting research on Friction Processing Technology with emphasis on Friction Stir Welding (FSW), Friction Hydro Pillar Processing (FHPP), and Friction Taper Stud Welding (FTSW). The first friction stir weld in South Africa was proudly produced by our institutional researchers and students in January 2002, broadening the understanding of the process and application and introducing this technology to the South African industry. Various institutional groups such as eNtsa (previously known as the Automotive Components Technology Station) and the Friction Processing Research Institute (FPRI) have been established in the interest of research and innovation of the friction processing phenomenon.

Friction Stir Welding (FSW), invented at the World Centre for Materials Joining UK (TWI) was the start of an exciting research era as it sparked the interest of joining applications worldwide. Internationally recognised expertise in the field of Friction Stir Welding (FSW) are using this process knowledge for the development of engineering platforms, application of the technology to a wide range of applications in the power generation and nuclear industry. One such project conducted included research and development of a procedure to carry out crack repairs by the Friction Stir Welding technique (FSW) for the local nuclear industry. NMMU linked researchers has successfully obtained sufficient resources to acquire a state of the art friction stir welding platform(MTS I-STIR) in 2007 for research purposes. With this new equipment the research field widened considerably with projects now being undertaken on the joining of high temperature alloys such as titanium alloys, stainless steels and other steel alloys as well as various combinations of dissimilar metal welds.

It is envisaged that this seminar will showcase the capabilities developed at NMMU over the last nine years in the field of Friction Stir processing technologies and enable other role-players to identify research collaboration opportunities within this field.