“The welding technique that has made the new iMac so thin is the intellectual property of Cambridge-based company TWI,” Leach reports. “The Apple iMac is just 5mm thick around the edges of the display on the all-in-one computer, and the aluminium join is made possible by friction-stir welding.”
Leach reports, “Invented in 1991 by Wayne Thomas at TWI, friction-stir welding is a solid-state process, meaning that it doesn’t require the materials to be melted for them to be joined. Instead it softens and merges the edges by mixing the two materials under frictional heat… Apple licensed the tech earlier this year and has been testing it since then. Iain Smith, associate director and intellectual property manager of TWI, would not reveal the commercial details of the deal with Apple.”
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The Verge hands on Apple’s new iMac: Extremely thin, stunning – October 23, 2012
Apple unveils jaw-dropping all-new iMac – October 23, 2012