Development of a repair process for manmade structures in space by using aluminium brazing and friction stir spot welding

Köhler, Tobias; Yu, Cheng-Nien; Schmidt, Kiril; Grätzel, Michael; Wu, Yangyang; Bergmann, Jean Pierre GND; Sekulic, Dusan P.

Small-sized parts and micrometeoroids’ impacts represent an increasing threat to artificial components/structures. The damages caused by them can be fixed using e.g., mechanical fixture with epoxy adhesive. However, the repair process is costly and only intended for a temporary fixing the penetration. In order to increase the life time of the repair, an approach for a more reliable process using similar materials is needed. The objective of this work is to develop a process for repairing manmade structures in space by generating joint properties similar to the base material. In this work, two approaches for repairing complex structures were considered. The first approach aims to fill a hole using liquid aluminium phases by brazing, and the second approach aims to fill the holes by a solid-state process (friction stir spot welding). In this study, different binding mechanisms of these two approaches were analyzed preliminarily by means of mechanical and/or metallographic characterization under terrestrial, controlled atmosphere conditions. Both concepts are proven feasible under these conditions. It has been shown that it is possible to realize a good filling of the hole with the investigated materials and under selected process conditions with both presented concepts.


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