Everything You Need To Know About Friction Stir Welding

People have been working with metal for a long time now. Its malleable and ductile properties allow it to be flexible while shaping it. Welding is the process of joining together metal pieces by heating them and beating them into each other.

A relatively new kind of welding technique has caused quite a stir in the market. Friction stir welding has been the go-to for industries and industrial companies like tra-c for quite some time. If you are looking for information about the welding process, then keep reading. Here is everything you need to know about friction stir welding.

Basic definition

Friction stir welding uses friction to generate heat between metals and force them to make a joint. Its working principle is very simple. The process is also environment friendly as compared to regular heating with blowpipes as they create a lot of smoke. The process is very energy-efficient and versatile as well.

To be precise in friction stir welding a specially designed knob with a pin and shoulder, which is also non-consumable, is traversed along the part where you need the joint. The tool creates friction between the two components which in turn creates heat. The tool also helps move the material into each other completing the process of welding.

Applications of Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

Aerospace aluminum alloys cause difficulty in making fatigue, high strength, and fracture-resistant welds. The aluminum alloys are marked as non-weldable due to poor solidification microstructure and porosity in the fusion zone. This has caused welding to not be used in joining aerospace structures.

However, with friction stir welding you are able to weld all grades of aluminum alloys, whether it is rolled, cast, or extruded. With a good quality FSW, or friction stir welding machine, you are able to join aluminum alloys with very mild thickness in one single go. FSW has now brought back welding in the aerospace, railways, and electronics industries.

Apart from alloys and common metals, friction stir welding has also been used in joining magnesium, titanium, copper, nickel, and steel alloys. FSW has also been able to join two different components like aluminum and steel.

Advantages of FSW

1. FSW has a lot of advantages over the old and conventional methods of welding. Here are some of them: FSW is a solid-state process, which means that you are able to join different kinds of components without worrying about hot cracking, porosity, or solidification cracks.

2. Conventional methods cause the temperature of components to reach sky-high, due to which there is a problem of shrinkage and distortion in materials. Friction stir welding highly reduces these risks which makes the process more fluent.

3. FSW is very environment friendly as no fumes, spatter or UV radiation is emitted in the process.

4. Welding is generally done by skilled welders, which makes the process slower and more prone to human error. FSW has made it easier to automate the process, decreasing the need for human interaction.

5. It is highly energy-efficient.

6. You are able to join ‘non-weldable alloys’ from the 2xxx and 7xxx series.

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