Dr. Dwight Burford

Dr. Dwight Burford joined the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute (AMMPI) and the Center for Friction Stir Processings (CFSP) at UNT in September 2019 as a Research Professor.  After receiving his doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines in 1987, Dr. Burford conducted postdoctoral studies at Ohio State University.  In 1989, he joined Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, where, as an Associate Technical Fellow, he conducted research and development in metal forming, machining, welding, and heat treating.  Beginning in the fall of 2000, Dr. Burford’s R&D work in friction stir welding led to production flight hardware on 747-400F aircraft in mid-2005.  From the fall of 2005 to the summer of 2012 he directed the NIAR Advanced Joining Lab at Wichita State University (WSU), and from 2007 to 2012 he directed the WSU Site of the Center for Friction Stir Processing (CFSP), an NSF I/UCRC. Since mid-2012, Dr. Burford has worked as a metallurgical engineering consultant.

| Faculty Page | Google Scholar citations | Curriculum Vitae | email: dwight.burford [@] unt.edu

Current Research Projects include the following topics:


Submerged Bobbin Tool Tunneling Technology

An Agile Approach to Fabricating Enclosed Curvilinear Integral Channels

Submerged bobbin tools, or SBTs, are designed to form integral sub-surface channels (tunnels) within components having internal pathways for wiring, gases, fluids, powders, tubing, composites, etc. Example uses are in heat exchangers, cooling plates, vacuum tools, and structural components. Like a conventional bobbin tool (BT) used in friction stir welding (FSW), an SBT has two opposing shoulders spaced apart along the bobbin or probe section of the tool.  Unlike a conventional BT, however, an SBT is used to form enclosed internal channels by the shoulder located at the terminal end of the bobbin being submerged within the workpiece while the opposite shoulder rides along on an outer surface of the workpiece.

Similar to other BT designs, the opposing shoulders of SBT designs serve to contain a substantial portion of stirred material generated throughout the progression of the process.   As a result, process forces produced parallel to the tool’s axis of rotation are reacted between the opposing shoulders.  Compared to single-sided tool designs having one shoulder, SBT tools therefore produce relatively lower out-of-plane forces that must be supported by the fabrication equipment.  In turn, fabrication equipment for internal channel production by SBTs have reduced force and stiffness requirements compared to equipment for single-sided channeling methods.  With this innovation, then, new opportunities exist for industrial robots to produce 3-D curvilinear subsurface integral channels in complex-shaped parts.


As a solid state fabrication technology, SBT FSP offers new benefits in the production of components having internal channels to meet internal fluid and gas flow requirements. Due to low out-of-plane force applications, it is ideal for robotic applications, thereby opening up the possibility for producing low cost 5-axis internal pathways for wiring, fluids, gases, powders, etc.

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Inventors / Technical Contacts

  • Dwight Burford
    • Research Professor
    • email: dwight.burford [@] unt.edu
  • Rajiv Mishra
    • University Distinguished Research Professor
    • email: rajiv.mishra [@] unt.edu

Patent(s) Pending

Steven Tudor, Director of Licensing
Office of Innovation and Commercialization
email: steven.tudor [@] unt.edu