Friction Welding

What is friction welding?
It is a solid-state welding process that generates heat through mechanical friction between workpieces in relative motion to one another, with the addition of a lateral force called “upset” to plastically displace and fuse the materials. Because no melting occurs, friction welding is not a fusion welding process in the traditional sense, but more of a forge welding technique. Friction welding is used with metals and thermoplastics in a wide variety of aviation and automotive applications

Why use friction welding?

The benefits of friction welding are numerous. Amongst other things, friction welding allows components to retain the strength of its parent material. In situations where one part of the component demands very specific capabilities (i.e. stainless, corrosion resistance) and another does not, friction welding eliminates the need for building components out a solid piece of expensive material. These all add up to savings through the entire production process, from using only the right material for the right job, and saving money on CNC machining.

Knowledge is key

We have built up our expert knowledge about friction welding and we have refined our manufacturing process over the years. Please have a look at our knowledge library for brief information and tips & tricks.

Please, book a meeting with us if your questions remain unanswered.

On this page we have gathered different ressources. Whether it is interest in the process of friction welding, or tips & tricks for designing with friction welding in mind, this is your one-stop solution.

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Friction welding utilized

The history of rotary friction welding goes back several decades. The automotive and aerospace industries have both utilized friction welding for years. Relying on the strength of the welds and possiblities afforded by using expensive materials only where needed.

Thomson has been Aviatec’s main supplier of friction welding machines. As of 2020 Aviatec has three friction welding machines at their disposal. Combined with the modern CNC lathes Aviatec is able to assist with the production requirements are customers have.

These are pages from a Thomson Friction Welder brochure, highlighting the many parts for the automotive industry that are often friction welded.

Tips & tricks

In this section we have gathered information to help you make informed decisions when working with friction welding. The tips & tricks can guide you to the best choices in material selection and process requirements.

Weldments

The welds produced with rotary friction welding offer strong, non-porous bonds that are ideal for the food and pharmaceutical industries as well as in heavy duty applications.

With friction welding, two parts are sat opposite each other, one being stationary, the other rotating. The rotating part is pressed to the stationary part and the friction from the rotation plasticises the material. The force of the rotating part pushes excess material (burn-off) out of the weld and creates flashing. All impurities and oxidation from the surface of the material ends up in the flashing, giving the friction weld a clean, strong bond with no additives or gasses.

This additive-free process makes it a safe process for the worker and cost effective for the customer.

Material choices

When utilizing rotary friction welding, one of the many benefits is flexible material choice.

Friction welding offers welds of dissimilar materials often not producible with conventional welding processes. Whether it is welding bronze to steel, aluminum to titanium, or most often stainless steel to mild steel, we have the capabilities.

Our customers enjoy this flexibility, as it offers cost savings. Designers will use only the most precious materials in the places needed, thereby limiting material costs.

Cost saving

As described above, friction welding offers many cost saving attributes. 

Dimensional flexibility, i.e. not having to machine parts from bigger raw material than needed, especially in valves and pump shafts. Most of our parts are welded close to the finished dimensions, thereby decreasing machining time in later processes.

Please contact us for more info

We are always ready to talk about a project, our knowledge or our processes!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be welded?

There are almost no limits to what types of materials can be welded together. Often our customers are having parts welded from a variety of stainless and mild steels. Whether it is Inconel, Duplex or 316L to i.e. mild steel or maybe bronze, take a look at our materials combination chart for more info.

Who supplies material?

We can do that. We cut most materials for our customers’ parts. However, when welding for example hydraulic piston rods our customers supply the parts and we weld. Contact us for more information.

Does the heat harden the materials?

The working temperature of the friction welding process is around 1000°C and no discernable hardening takes place.

Certificates

We understand the modern demands of traceability. That is why we can supply certificate 3.1(EN 10204:2004). If you have more questions, send us an email

How to design for friction welding
We understand that friction welding might not be something everyone knows how to work with. That is why we have created a design manual you can use when ordering a quote.
Download the design manual by clicking the button

University of Southern Denmark

At Aviatec we cooperate with the Faculty of  Engineering, Department of Mechatronics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense, to provide you with the newest research and publications.

To visualize the process of friction welding, SDU has provided a simulation of the heat buildup during the welding process.

Here is a simulation made by researchers at University of Southern Denmark (SDU), depicting the heat transfer during the rotary friction welding process.

Publications

In this section you will find a list of publications and articles written about us, with us or about friction welding in general.

Contact us if you have any information or questions

Literature Review of Friction Welding Research – march 9, 2020

“This literature review is the startup of a project regard-ing an analysis of rotary friction welds. The statementto be investigated is that cylindrical elements joinedby means of friction welding are stronger/harder thansimilar elements joined by classical welding methods.This statement is based on experience from an automo-tive parts supplier and has withstood the test of time.Therefore, this literature review will cover literature onfriction welding in general, and more specifically onrotary friction welding. It will also give an overviewof experimental results in literature, regarding a varietyof different material combinations. Due to the task ofanalyzing the welding theoretically, we will also reviewthe use of mathematical models for prediction of temper-atures and hardening processes in the weld components.”

Authors

  • Lars Duggen, Associate Professor, PhD, Head of Mechatronics Programme, Syddansk Universitet, Sønderborg
  • Andrei Popa, MSc. Mechatronics Engineering, Syddansk Universitet, Sønderborg

If you are interested in reading more from this article, please contact us here for full access.

Materials combinations

There are many types of metals – and for each one them there are certain strengths and weaknesses when it comes to friction welding.

Here is a chart of materials combinations that are tested, have known requirements or are unweldable. 

The chart is inspired by ISO material groups and should give a quick indication as to whether or not a certain combination is weldable. 

If there are questions regarding a material combination or similar, do not hesistate to contact us.