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.
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