Friction stir welded low-cost titanium propellant tank - TWI

Titanium Information Group
25 May 2016

TWI is carrying out work for the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with Airbus Defence & Space UK on a Friction stir welded (FSW) low-cost titanium propellant tank. The two-year project started in December 2014 and comprises two phases of work, with the main aim to raise the technology readiness level of FSW of titanium alloys from TRL3 to TRL6 in conjunction with a potential reduction of costs against the current conventional approach for manufacturing propellant tanks.
(a) Develop, characterise and validate the FSW process and system required for welding titanium alloy(s)
(b) Manufacture two titanium demonstrator tanks using the FSW process. The manufacturing process will be compared with current conventional technical approaches in terms of cost, reliability, efficiency and environmental impact.
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