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Inaugurated New Building: The Inventor of „Fricition Stir Welding“ visited Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht

The inventor of Fricition Stir Welding (FSW), Dr. Wayne Thomas, came on November 20th personally to Geesthacht to inaugurate a building that was named after him. In the 300square meter building innovative joining methods are explored.

"The Geesthacht materials researchers in the department of Dr. Jorge dos Santos have many years of experience and expertise. This building makes the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the leading laboratory in the field of FSW in Europe, "said Wayne Thomas. "Their innovative developments and patents are outstanding research achievements. I feel very honored to be the namesake of the new hall, in which young scientists from around the world work together to advance their projects."

 Jorge dos Santos, Wayne Thomas, Wolfgang Kaysser und Norbert Huber

From left to right: Jorge dos Santos, Wayne Thomas, Wolfgang Kaysser and Norbert Huber. Photo: HZG/ Heidrun Hillen

In 1991 Dr. Wayne Thomas invented friction stir welding at the research centre TWI Ltd. in Cambridge. In this process materials are not melted but brought to heel by pressure and friction and firmly joined together in this way.

Around 40 scientists at the Institute for Materials Research, Department of Solid State Joining Processes, work together in the new building. They are developing new joining methods on modern machines, for example, for the joining of metal and plastic. "Lightweight construction for vehicles and aircraft gets due to the resource scarcity is becoming increasingly important," says one head of the institute of materials research, Prof. Dr. Norbert Huber. "The new, lightweight multi-material concepts require innovative joining processes. In our new facility we are able to weld a wide variety of materials. "

After a scientific colloquium in the afternoon, the Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaysser, Head of Department Dr. Jorge dos Santos, Director Prof. Dr. Norbert Huber and Dr. Wayne Thomas inaugurated the hall with symbolicly cutting the red band.