Rotary Friction Welding

Rotary Friction Welding is a solid-state process in which one part is rotated at high speed and is pressed against another part that is held stationary. The resulting friction heats the parts, causing them to forge together.

Advantages and Benefits

For your complex joining requirements, our Rotary Friction Welding solutions offer a flexible option. We are the only company offering all three types of rotary friction welding technologies – inertia, direct drive, and hybrid. Here are some reasons why this helps you:

  • Unique welding capabilities
    Rotary Friction Welding creates a 100-percent bond of the contact area – such as a full-section weld around a diameter on the OD or ID of a tube – creating joints of forged quality. The weld properties are superior to welds created with fusion processes, such as MIG or TIG welding. This results in a higher strength bond and greatly increased design flexibility of part.

  • Minimal joint preparation
    Joint preparation is minimal for the Rotary Friction Welding process. Machined, saw-cut, and even sheared surfaces are weldable. It also creates a narrow heat-affected zone, resulting in more uniform properties throughout the part, higher joint efficiencies, and stronger welds.

  • Ecologically friendly and energy efficient
    Rotary Friction Welding is an environmentally friendly process that requires no consumables, flux, filler material, or shielding gases to run. Plus, there’s no weld splatter. It’s also energy efficient because it uses the least energy consumption of all welding processes.

  • Material & Production Efficiency
    Since a friction weld is stronger than other conventional welds, it requires less raw materials to achieve the same torque and fatigue characteristics of the conventional part. This means a reduction in both raw material costs and the post-welding machining time required to remove the extra material.

  • Faster Weld Cycles
    Weld Cycle production times can be reduced, meaning that more parts can be joined in less time, since the friction welding process is significantly faster than more conventional methods of welding. Many rotary friction welds are accomplished in mere seconds.

  • Reduced Inventory to Create Part Families
    An extensive inventory of forged part families can be replaced using fewer and less expensive friction welded common components. Unique single forgings can be replaced with less expensive and commonly stocked components such as tubes, plates, and bar stock to accommodate the product range of sizes. For more details, please see our hydraulic piston rod example here

  • Machine Controlled Process
    The machine-controlled friction weld process is consistent and repetitive, eliminating human error while producing weld quality that is independent of an operator’s skill level. The process parameters are easily controlled, repeatable, and monitored, allowing for real-time and statistical monitoring of the parameters.

  • Join Dissimilar Materials to Reduce Material Costs
    Metal combinations not normally considered compatible using conventional welding methods can be joined by friction welding, such as aluminum to steel, copper to aluminum, titanium to copper, and nickel alloys to steel. This creates significant cost savings because engineers can design bimetallic parts that use expensive materials only where needed. Industries like automotive and aerospace will friction-weld dissimilar materials as a way of light weighting components for their applications.

Go all in with MTI’s cost effective friction welding machines for automotive. Save time and money with consistent, durable welds time after time.
Process Overview

Friction Welding is more of a forging process than an actual welding process. Rotary Friction Welding is simply about using force and rotary motion to create a bond between two pieces. Key aspects of the process include:

  • 1One piece is held stationary while the other piece is rotated.
  • 2Two pieces are then brought together as force is applied.
  • 3The force and rotating motion create friction at the faying surfaces, which is the interface of the parts being joined.
  • 4Friction creates heat. As a result, rubbing the two faying surfaces heats the pieces and upsetting (the bonding of the parts) begins.
  • 5The rotary friction welding process is completed when the rotation of one piece stops and the upsetting ends. The result is a part with a 100-percent bond and a joint of forged quality.

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Machine Talk
The welding solution to the challenges you're facing may be one click away
Whiteboard Wednesday: A Friction Weld at a Fraction of the Force
Whiteboard Wednesday: A Friction Weld at a Fraction of the Force

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MTI Rotary Friction Welders Find New Home at UK Research Center
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The Friction Welding Dictionary
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Whiteboard Wednesday: Radial Position Control Techniques or Weld Orientation
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Dan Adams of MTI discusses the science of Radial Position Control techniques and why they're so crucial in accomplishing a successful weld.

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Can Your Materials Be Forged?

The simple rule of thumb is this: If you can forge it, you can friction-weld it.

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