FSW for Rolling Stock

Friction stir welding (FSW) is incrasingly used car bodies which are made from Aluminium extrusions. Low distortion and high crashworthiness are the main benefits. Longitudinal members and floor panels of Electric Motor Units (EMUs) are also made by FSW.

Bombardier in Derby, UK, uses complete FSW side Panels for the carriages of London Underground. Bombardier participated in 1994 in the first Group Sponsored FSW Project at TWI in Cambridge, UK, and started 7-8 years later to use FSW Panels, because of their techno-economic benefits in comparison with conventional MIG welded panels.


After the Investigation of the Ladbroke Grove railway accident of 5. October 1999 by the British House of Lords, the Chairman Lord Cullen recommended alternatives to fusion welding, the use of better materials and analytical methods. Since then, trainmakers use FSW Panels world-wide, especially in Japan, China and Europe.