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  • Solvus Global

ARL & Solvus Global Foster New AM Capabilities in Collaboration with PNNL and Bond Technologies

This strategic partnership between ARL, PNNL, Bond Technologies, and Solvus Global has created cutting-edge Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing capabilities with combination of technical expertise and unique equipment design.

Oct. 25, 2021, Leominster, Mass. – In support of Army modernization through technological innovation, the Army Research Laboratory and partners have developed a new capability in large-scale additive manufacturing to ensure supply chain security and military readiness in the production of metal parts.

Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing (FSAM) will provide cost-effective, rapid turn-around on large parts greater than 1 Cubic Foot in volume. FSAM technology can compete favorably with traditional forging and casting practices due to its ease in joining large, geometrically critical complex parts. Fabrication of titanium castings with FSAM allows for high performance, low volume production of crucial armor components for use by the US Department of Defense.

Dr. Victor K. Champagne of ARL will provide technical direction and has assembled a team of FSAM experts from across the country to develop and transition large area additive manufacturing for the DoD.

Solvus Global, a technology solutions provider in Massachusetts is equipped with the platform to innovate across industry and government sectors in support of the transition to advanced manufacturing. Development of FSAM technology at the Solvus Global Center for Scaled Innovations in Manufacturing has created the ultimate Friction Stir Welding system in combination of five selected additive techniques:

  1. Friction Stir Assembly

  2. Additive Friction Stir

  3. Plate Stacking

  4. Hybrid Friction Stir

  5. Friction Stir Surfacing

Ken Ross from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) provided technical insight into FSAM machine designs and specifications. PNNL torque-based robust temperature control technology is integrated into this machine to enable control of processing temperature which can enables improved properties and processes robustness.

Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing, or FSAM GL7 machine at the Solvus Global Center for Scaled Innovations in Manufacturing (cSIM) facility in Leominster, MA

This machine can maintain constant forge force, processing temperatures and tool tilt relative to complex weld paths. These features enable unprecedented control and repeatability for FSAM.

FSAM research was sponsored by ARL through a synergistic program to achieve large-scale production of high-performing metal components with reduced costs and low material scrap rates. Collaboration amongst ARL, Solvus Global, PNNL, and Bond Technologies reinforces supply chain stability with onshore production of critical defense components.

“With our partnerships, we have the ability to deliver solutions for an increasing variety of manufacturing applications,” says Richard Eberheim, Automation Engineer at Solvus Global. Friction Stir AM allows possibility of customized metal castings at low-waste, low-cost for use in aerospace, marine, or automotive commercial entities.

Bond Technologies has brought equipment concepts to a reality with their development of the Friction Stir Welding system. The GL7 solid state manufacturing center is capable of high-rate additive friction stir deposition using innovative controls and robust motion control systems. The technology incorporated into this machine is unmatched for flexibility and capability, giving Solvus Global a tool previously unavailable on the market. The system is capable of operating with an array of different metals including Aluminum, Inconel, Steels, and Titanium. 

“This machine advances the state of the art for Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing, a technology that is certain to have a significant impact not only in the field of advanced manufacturing, but on the readiness and capabilities of our military. Bond is proud to work with Solvus, PNNL, and the Army to shape the future of additive manufacturing,” says Tim Haynie, CEO of Bond Technologies.

Mechanical Engineer, Rufus Adams (Left) assists Automation Engineer, Richard Eberheim (Right) during the installation of the Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing (FSAM) GL7 machine at the Solvus Global Center for Scaled Innovations in Manufacturing (cSIM) facility

View Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing technology in action via the video below.

About Solvus Global

Founded in 2017, Solvus Global is a technology-solution provider for materials and manufacturing, specializing in the areas of additive manufacturing, machine learning, and sustainable materials processing. Headquartered in Worcester, Solvus Global operates out of three locations across Massachusetts: research and manufacturing facilities in both Leominster and Worcester, and a collaborative center in Webster.

For more information on Solvus Global and its additive manufacturing capabilities, click here.

About Bond Technologies

Bond Technologies is a global leader in solid state processing and manufacturing. Bond designs and builds machines that can perform friction stir welding, friction extrusion, refill friction stir spot welding and additive manufacturing. Bond is located in Elkhart, Indiana and provides products and services to R&D and production customers around the world. To learn more about the GL Series Friction Stir Welding Machine, visit or click here to watch a YouTube clip of the GL7 Friction Stir Welding Machine.

Research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-19-2-0155. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.



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