Friction Plug Welding

Friction plug welding is a solid state welding procedure which allows for holes in metal to be filled using a method that does not significantly degrade the part’s original material properties, as would traditional welding techniques. 

Used on the space shuttle to fill the end hole of a circumferential friction stir weld joint, this technology can also be used to repair damaged holes on aircraft structural parts.

When the Air Force needed an independent lab to validate a FPW process for an F-15 application, they came to MERC for assistance.  In this effort, MERC used an existing friction plug welding process and validated its use for F-15 vertical stabilizer and wing spar usage.

More recently, MERC developed a repair process for 2024 aluminum using friction plug welding technology.

For more information email us at