FSW: Ford GT


Friction Stir Welding of the Centre Tunnel

The centre tunnel of the Ford GT, of which a total of 4038 were produced in 2004-2006, was friction stir welded. The centre tunnel of this car is a structural component that increases the rigidity of the chassis and is also used as a vapour-tight fuel tank. The location of the tank ensures good weight distribution and crashworthiness.

    

Ford GT in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Ford GT in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

© Winning Automotive Photography, CC BY 2.0

   


Aluminium spaceframe of the Ford GT

Aluminium spaceframe of the Ford GT

   

© AluStir

   


The mechanical components, including the fuel pumps, level sensors and steam control valves, are first mounted on a steel rail. Then a one-piece tank is blown around the rail. This "ship in a bottle" concept maximises fuel volume and reduces the number of connections to the fuel system.

   

Friction stir welds in the centre tunnel of the Ford GT (please click to enlarge)
Friction stir welds in the centre tunnel of the Ford GT (please click to enlarge)

Friction stir welds in the centre tunnel of the Ford GT (please click to enlarge)

   

© AluStir

   


Fixture for friction stir welding of the centre tunnel of the Ford GT using an ESAB SuperStir™ machine.

Fixture for friction stir welding of the centre tunnel of the Ford GT using an ESAB SuperStir™ machine.[1][2][3]

        © Matthew J. Zaluzec

 

Interior of the Ford GT (produced in 2006)

Interior of the Ford GT (produced in 2006)

   

© Valder137, CC BY 2.0

    


References

  1. Stephan W. Kallee: Reibrührschweißen in der Serienproduktion. 'Automobil Produktion', Dezember 2004.
       
  2. Stephan W. Kallee: Friction stir welding in series production. Englische Überestzung des deutschen Artikels 'Automobil Produktion', Dezember 2004.
       
  3. Daniela Lohwasser und Zhan Chen: Friction Stir Welding: From Basics to Applications. S. 148.