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Center for Friction Stir Processing

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Collaborative Renewal Proposal: NSF Center for Friction Stir Processing IUCRC  (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Friction Stir Processing is a multi-institutional NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) that conducts research aimed at making the technology more competitive in the world economy. 

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a revolutionary joining technology which has seen an explosive growth in research, development, and application over the last decade. FSW has shown higher strengths, fewer defects, lower residual stress, and less distortion in specific aluminum applications. Regarding metal matrix composite, titanium, and ferrous alloys, however, additional fundamental research is required to maximize the technology. Friction stir processing (a variant of FSW) has received increased interest as a rivet replacement technology and a microstructural modification technique to induce superplasticity in thick section materials, to locally modify the microstructure in complex castings and to add micron and submicron particles into metal surfaces. 

Education & Outreach

The center promotes collaborations within the community through local, regional, national and international participation in its outreach and education activities. The center strives for partnerships between the participating universities and with minority, Native American, and community technical colleges for the purpose of technology transfer and collaborative education opportunities such as summer internships. The center also participates in technology demonstrations, tours, and student research projects at the K-12 level.

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Related Institutions

Brigham Young University

University of Missouri-Rolla

University of South Carolina

Advanced Metal Products
Army Research Laboratory
BAE Systems (UDLP)
Boeing Phantom Works
EADS Airbus
Friction Stir Link
General Motors
JFE Steel
Kaiser Aluminum
Lockheed Martin
MTS Systems Corporation
NASA Langley Research Center
Pacific NW National Laboratory
Sikorsky Aircraft Systems
Spirit Aero Systems


  • Images from NSF-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers.