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What Is Friction Welding?

Posted on January-01-2023

Friction welding is a type of solid state welding and is an umbrella term that encompasses several types of welding processes. It is fast, efficient and one of the most popular types of solid state welding. Friction welding involves generating heat through friction force of the workpiece. The heat generated is so high that it is capable of melting and fusing the metals together. This type of welding was first introduced in 1960 and was patented and proved in 1991. It is used for metals and thermoplastics in various aviation and automotive applications.

How Does Friction Welding Work?

If you rub your hands together, you will notice that they become hot. As you increase the pressure and the speed, it will start feeling warmer. Friction welding is the same principle, metal parts are made to rub against each other at extremely high temperatures and pressure.

The rubbing together of the two materials results in mechanical friction. Even if the two materials seem smooth to the naked eye, there are microscopic irregularities that generate friction between the surfaces.

During friction welding, the motion between the two materials and the pressure applied generates heat at the contact pints. As the process continues, the amount of heat generated increases and the two materials become viscous at the contact points. The motion between the two surfaces promotes the mixing of the two at their contact points which creates a bond or weld.

Applications of Friction Welding

Friction welding was first used commercially in the 1960s but was soon replaced by other welding techniques that have superior processes. However, friction welding does have some unique advantages which means that it is still used in industries where other welding techniques can’t be used. Here are some examples of where friction welding is used today:

– Welding of circular components such as tubes, pipes and shafts.
– Automotive, aerospace, marine and oil industries.
– Gear levers, axled tubes, connecting rods etc, are welded through friction welding.
– Often used in electrical industries to join weld copper and aluminium wires.

Advantages of Friction Welding

  • – The weld has high efficiency.
  • – It does not generate any smoke and is environmentally friendly.
  • – It has a small heat affected zone which means there is no change in properties for heat-sensitive material.
  • – As it uses friction to join the two pieces, it does not require filler material.
  • – This type of welding allows for a range of materials to be welded because it does not use any external source and re;is on friction and plastic deformation.
  • – This type of welding allows for high welding speed.
  • – Friction welding can be used to join dissimilar metals.
  • – Solid state welding contains minimal or no defects compared to other welding.
  • – It is one of the fastest welding methods and can be twice or even 100x times faster than normal fusion welds.

Disadvantages of Friction Welding

  • – Due to the working mechanisms, it can only be used for circular cross section bars, rotating and making contact.
  • – If the material is non-forgeable, it can’t be welded using this method of welding.
  • – Friction welding has a limited range of joints and types.
  • – It is critical that there is preparation of the workpieces.
  • – Friction welding has high set up costs.

Arc Welding Services Ltd

Arc Welding supplies a range of welding equipment in Birmingham, Coventry and across the Midlands. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we have worked with many clients providing them with high quality welding tools and supplies. If you are looking for welding supplies for hire or purchase, get in touch with us. Call us on 0121 327 2249 or fill out our online contact form.

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