Offshore friction stir welding robot passes design milestone
The world’s first underwater robot to repair ships hulls with friction stir welding has reached a milestone with the finalising of the system’s concept design.
The RESURGAM (Robotic Survey, Repair and Agile Manufacture) Project, funded by the European Commission and being developed by 13 partners, will eventually allow a ship’s hull be repaired at sea, removing the requirement for it to head for dry dock.
RESURGAM will allow responsive repair to be carried out remotely from anywhere in the world, and is expected to save industry time and money as well as making it safer by removing the need for specialist divers.
Engineers from Cumbria-based Forth have been appointed as the technical managers of the project. To date, the team has completed a Functional Means Analysis to establish all functions of the new tool, and carried out a full optioneering process to decide on the concept model. A first concept design for the welding head and frame mechanics has also been completed and will be developed in the coming months.