Resurgam will introduce high productivity Friction Stir Welding of steel to European shipyards.
Many of the challenges faced by small and medium sized EU shipyards can be addressed by improving their productivity for fabricating new, high technology vessels and increasing their access to the specialist repair and maintenance market. Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a high integrity, low distortion, environmentally benign, welding technique, which was previously investigated in FP7 project HILDA (High Integrity Low Distortion Assembly) and recommended for shipbuilding due to its high quality and suitability for automation.
A recent break-through in the tooling material research available for FSW now shows potential to enable this process for welding of steel structures with consistency. Traditionally, it has only been possible to use FSW in aluminium, so the advances in the field represent a huge opportunity to improve the productivity of European shipyards.
In RESURGAM, will combine FSW with the new tool material to deliver:
These fabrication and repair capabilities, backed by the secure, digital Industry 4.0 infrastructure and techniques already in widespread use in the automotive and aerospace industries, will facilitate the rapid, coordinated but distributed modular manufacture of ships and watercraft throughout Europe.
Practically, this will allow ships damaged anywhere in the world will have the option of being repaired in place without the need to travel to the nearest dry dock. This will allow ship owners to choose the most suitable yards to conduct their repairs rather than the nearest, and the repairs may be undertaken by yards with no dry dock of their own thus significantly increasing the number of yards able to undertake such work. All of this will be implemented by the European shipyards and Naval architects in Europe.
Multi-disciplinary consortium with the relevant complimentary expertise and capabilities. Composed by European shipbuilding and maintenance stakeholders (ACLUNAGA, NED-Project, AISTER, TSA, EWF) research organisations with specialist expertise in the relevant fields (TWI, University of Limerick, University of Lancaster’s Joining 4 Innovation Centre (J4IC), TU Delft) and Specialist industrial SMEs able to provide rapid development of prototype hardware (Forth Engineering, STIRWELD, ESI, E6).