Project Management:


An important milestone in the developent of friction stir welding was achieved by the EuroStir®-Projekt on 'European Industrialisation of Frictin Stir Welding' with a budget of  8.5 Mio €, which was managed by Stephan Kallee at TWI in Cambridge, UK. FSW was applied to various materials, to achieve high welding Speeds in large thicknesses. The process was industrially used and applied in Commercial production.

The 60-month Eureka collaborative Project started on 1 December 2000 and had the main objective, to accelerate the industrial used of FSW in Europe. The process had been invented and patented in the United Kingdom, and it was first used commercially in Sweden, but subsequently development and application occured mainly in Japan and the USA, where enormous funds were invested by the railway rolling stock manufacturers and aerospace companies respectively.


The success in Japan and the USA indicated that FSW could not only be used for relatively soft metals as aluminium, magnesium and copper, but that it made sense to apply it also to other materials such as steel or titanioum because of the high weld quality and low production cost.  FSW minimises health and safety risks and does not require the Operator skills required during manual welding 


Understanding the benefits and limitations of FSW at an early stage, was too important for the 38 project participants from Germany, Finland, France, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom to wait for acquiring the know-how from abroad. The process had at that time been shrouded in secrecy due to existing confidentiality agreements, which made it impossible to find out the details of tool design and parameter setting through literature reasearch. FSW was industrially so advantageous that the first commercial applications happened before the processs was fully understood by universities and classification societies. This left-out potential users in Europe, because the process was only applied there by very few companies.


The EuroStir® Project addressed this situation by international collaboration, to accelerate tht know-how transfer and disseminate some of the project results proactively for instance by reporting very openly about the weld quality that could be achieved.  


1. Aalto University
2. Airbus Deutschland

3. Airbus Frankreich
4. Alstom Transport
5. Angel Trains
6. Blacks Equipment
7. Braby
8. Briggs Manufacturing
9. Caterpillar France
10. Circle Technical Services
11. CAF
12. Corus
13. Danstir
14. DLR
16. ESAB Automation
17. Feldbinder UK
18. Force Technology
19. Fundacion Fatronik
20. FWS Engineering
21. Gatwick Fusion
22. H.C. Starck
23. Hawtal Whiting Engineering
24. Helmholtz Zentrum
25. Institut De Soudure 
26. Instytut Spawalnictwa
27. Irizar
28. Klaus Raiser
29. Magicscope
30. Pechiney Rhenalu
31. Railway Safety
32. Seco Aluminium
33. Smart Technology Group 
34. Snecma Moteurs
35. Thompson Friction Welding
36. Triton Tooling
37. TWI
38. VTT Technical Research Centre

 To reduce the initial investment into FSW Equipment, the well established route of setting up job shops as contract manufacturers was proposed in the project outline. It was envisaged that specialised small and medium sized companies could acquire the know-how most effectively and then manufacture parts on behalf of larger original equipment manufacturers. The project saved a lot of time for the participants, because the optimisation of tools, parameters and fixtures is not trivial at all. The know-how transfer within the project simplified the industrial application of FSW, to increas the European competitiveness and thus secure employment.