Friction stir welding is a solid-state joining process that uses heat that has been generated by friction to bond different materials. The friction-stir welding process uses a non-consumable tool to join the different materials.
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In one form or another, welding has been around for hundreds of years.
According to the book Friction Stir Welding: From Basics to Applications, “Although joining pieces together can be traced back more than 2,000 years, welding emerged as a viable manufacturing process only in the late 1800s.” It was not until the 1990s, however, that the method we know as friction stir welding emerged.
In that sense, it’s a “newer” technology.
It’s one thing to join pieces of metal together; it’s another to do so without changing their microstructure. The solid state joining process that uses frictional heat generated by a rotating tool has been used for a variety of applications across such industries as aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding and rail. Today, FSW meets the auto industry’s high volume standard and does so in five ways.
When we talk about friction stir welding, we are referring to a method of welding that involves the heating of metal so it can be effectively welded. This process also involves a rotating tool that will push the heated material together. One of the great advantages of using friction stir welding is that the metal you use will never melt. This will produce great results because it gives you the ability to attach different metals at different angles at a higher efficiency rate.
Friction stir welding (FSW) is a relatively new welding process that was invented at The Welding Institute in Cambridge, UK in 1991. FSW is a solid-state joining process that uses frictional heat combined with accurately directed forging pressure to produce high integrity welded joints for extruded or wrought aluminum. The process can also be used to join copper, titanium, and certain alloys. This automated frictional welding process is more robust than other joining processes and is a good fit for industries that must employ high-volume production, such as the automotive industry.
The solid-state welding process in which the materials that are used for welding never go over the require melting points is known as friction-stir welding. This process requires heat to be generated during each point of contact that is used to join the materials together. During the friction-stir welding process, a spinning tool is imposed on a piece of work. The spinning tool is put through a downward force and turning over to the weld direction.
For many years, American Hydroformers has been one of the leaders in hydroforming technology and friction stir welding technology. Friction stir welding is a type of technique that offers a variety of benefits and advantages over one of the more traditional methods known as fusion welding. Friction stir welding has the ability to create a bond of any size, and this is one of the reasons why it has the ability to serve a wide range of industries.
The welding technique, friction stir welding, was developed almost 30 years ago in 1991. Although it was invented many years ago, it has seen a high rise in demand over the past few years. One of the main reasons that friction stir welding has seen such a massive increase is due to the rising demand for greater strength and durability in applications.
Lauded as the most significant innovation in metal joining in the last decade, Friction Stir Welding (FSW) introduces a solid-state joining process that is environmentally friendly, versatile, and energy efficient. FSW outperforms conventional fusion welding by joining aerospace aluminum alloys, and other metallic alloys, that are high-strength. The significance of this advancement is that aerospace aluminum alloys, like 2XXX and 7XXX series, have been classified as virtually non-weldable with conventional welding processes because of porosity and microstructure solidification behavior. Resistance welding can be performed on aluminum alloys, however, surface preparation has to be performed, which is expensive and surface oxide becomes a problem.
Friction stir welding is an innovative and unique method of joining metals by using frictional heat combined with a controlled forging pressure, producing full penetrated welded joints with high integrity that are defect free. Friction stir welding is most efficient on cylindrical components, flat plates as well as on parts of uneven thickness.