Just what is friction welding?
Good question! When you think of welding, you may think of various sized and shaped components, as well as gases, smoke, fumes, or waste. Friction welding, unlike other forms of welding, is a solution that is totally eco-friendly.
Like other types of welding, friction welding, also known as spin welding, joins metals together. But this process technically isn’t welding at all. It’s a forging process, as it doesn’t melt the metals, but intermixes them. With suitable materials, the weld union or interface strength is equal to that of the parent metals.
How is friction welding better for the environment?
The main way friction welding is more eco-friendly is its conservation of resources. The process has a much smaller carbon footprint because less energy is needed and fewer materials are used. There are many other ways friction welding is helpful to the environment, including reduction of CO2 emissions
How does friction welding work?
Per our website, here are the four steps to friction welding:
- Step 1: One component is loaded into a rotational “head” chuck and the other component is loaded into a fixed “tail” stock. The head is accelerated to a preset speed.
- Step 2: The rotating “head” component or the fixed “tail” stock (depending on machine style and desired pressure) is then forced against the remaining component.
- Step 3: Rotation stops and forges pressure completes the welding cycle. The result is a clean, strong, and full interface weld every time.
- Step 4: CNC machining is then performed for removal of difficult or hardened flash (if desired), rough machining, cell optimization, or for finish machining to provide a completed part. Additionally, other value-added services are offered to finish the project to exact print specifications.
What types of materials can be friction welded?
Many metals can be friction stir welded, including:
- Copper and copper alloys
- Hafnium and zirconium
- Steel and ferrous alloys
... and many more. It can also join dissimilar materials. Many of the metals that can be joined with friction welding are often thought of as difficult to weld using typical processes.
What is friction welding used for?
Friction welding has been approved for use in 183 countries, so it is implemented quite frequently. Some common products made with friction welding include:
- Ships and other military items: Friction welding has been used to build and improve on various materials for the military, including making armor plating and helicopter pads.
- Aerospace: From commercial jets to rockets, friction welding has been a vital tool in sending aircraft soaring into the sky.
- Automobiles: Interior and exterior features of automobiles have benefitted and become more eco-friendly from friction welding.
- Railways: Friction welding contributes to upgrades in railways throughout the world.