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Home > Equipment > Radial Friction Welding

Radial Friction Welding

Radial Friction Welding solutions from the team at MTI offer another flexible option for complex manufacturing requirements. MTI is the only current manufacturer of radial friction machinery.

Process Overview

Radial Friction Welding is one of the three basc types of rotational friction welding - the other two are Inertia and Direct Drive. Radial Friction Welding was developed in 1975 by The Welding Institute and is a solid-state process in which a welding ring is rotated, then compressed, around two stationary work pieces. The direction of forge force is perpendicular to the axis of rotation. The work pieces can be beveled to provide a V-groove, and the welding ring can also be beveled at an angle less than the work pieces, to provide a reservoir for the upset material. Based upon the application, a support mandrel placed within the bore may be required. The rotational speeds and radial compression loads create friction at the weld interface. The weld can be controlled in the same manner as a Direct Drive or Inertia Friction weld. A variation of the process uses an expansion ring in place of the compression ring.

Radial Friction Welding is a highly specialized process that was originally developed to join the ends of long lengths of pipe. Other applications include joining collars to shafts, welding wear or support rings onto or into cylindrical bodies.

Advantages and Benefits of Radial Friction Welding

Radial Friction Welding creates a full section weld around a diameter on the OD or ID of a tube, a capability not found in other friction welding. The properties of the RFW weld are superior to welds created with other processes, such as MIG or TIG welding.

Friction welding provides numerous advantages:

  • Creates narrow heat-affected zone
  • 100 percent bond of contact area
  • Joints are of forged quality
  • No consumables are required (flux, gases, filler material)
  • No weld splatter
  • Greatly increases design flexibility of part
  • Saves weight while maintaining torque and fatigue characteristics
  • Reduces raw material and machining costs
  • Machine controlled process is consistent and repetitive
  • Process parameters are easily controlled and monitored
  • Real-time and statistical monitoring of parameters
  • Joint preparation is minimal
  • Environmentally friendly, producing no smoke, fumes or slag
  • Energy efficient, using the least energy consumption of all welding processes

MTI's Advanced Technology Radial Friction Welders

MTI has been in the vanguard of the Radial Friction Welding revolution. Our patents in Torque Modulation and Orientation are just two of the ways we have improved the quality of the process.

Radial Friction Welders from MTI offer these value-added features:

  • Automation
  • Flash removal
  • Enhanced upset control through Torque Modulation
  • Improved length control through Dynamic Profile Modification
  • Advanced Radial Orientation capability through proprietary control system
  • Manufacturing cell integration (including material handling, automatic loading and unloading, robot integration, flash removal, bar coding, quality control, part destruction)
  • Custom designed machine diagnostics and maintenance schedule for full preventive maintenance
  • Custom applications