28.10.2019 10:16

Encapsulation plant’s friction stir welding system to be supplied by Bond Technologies

Posiva is acquiring a friction stir welding system for sealing disposal canister copper lids from US Company Bond Technologies.

The contract scope includes the manufacture, installation and commissioning of the friction stir welding equipment. The system is an important and critical part of the production process of the encapsulation plant.

- We are extremely pleased that, after long contract negotiations, the system designer Bond Technologies was also selected as the equipment manufacturer and supplier, says Program Manager Iiro Engren.


Posiva has developed a friction stir welding system in collaboration with the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB, SKB). Both companies have selected the system as their canister sealing solution. Posiva and Bond Technologies designed and developed the welding device, which is now under manufacture, during an earlier design stage of the project.

Spent nuclear fuel is packed in copper and cast-iron canisters before its deposition in bedrock. The metal canister is the most important engineered barrier of the disposal concept. The canister’s copper shell consists of a copper tube with an integrated or welded bottom, depending on the manufacturing method, and a copper lid that is welded to the canister at the encapsulation plant. The properties of the weld must not significantly deviate from the properties of the base material.

Friction stir welding is based on hot forming, where the required temperature is caused by friction of a tool rotating with high speed in the material to be welded. Friction stir welding meets the requirements of long-term safety very well, since its benefits include small grain size in the weld area, even and isotropic grain structure as well as good mechanical properties and microstructure that are suited to the disposal canister.

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