Major European train builders invest in Powerstir friction stir welding

Date published: 13 September 2020

Specially developed Powerstir friction stir welding machines from Rochdale-based Precision Technologies Group could soon redefine the way in which Europe’s leading manufacturers of railway rolling stock produce aluminium carriage bodies.

Since their launch, the machines have been used extensively in the production of railway carriage panels for some of the world’s fastest trains.

With a growing demand for lighter-weight aluminium carriage bodies across the wider rail industry, increasing numbers of European-based manufacturers are now placing orders for PTG’s British-built Powerstir machines.

Manufacturers typically use a combination of welding to create railway panel welds. However, as the Powerstir welding process provides far superior high-strength joints, one leading European train builder already anticipates that using its newly purchased machine will lead to a reduction in the wall thickness of panels, with the potential for weight savings of as much as 30%.

Thanks to the considerable gantry length of Powerstir rail sector machines, the business will also be able to weld some of its longest carriage panels in one single operation.

PTG Regional Sales Director, Mark Curran said: “We are delighted that leading European rolling stock builders are recognising the considerable advantages that Powerstir friction stir welding offers and look forward to working alongside them as they begin using our technologies.”

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