Friction welding is an ideal method to join dissimilar metals- cost, quality, and strengthwise.
Here are 7 advantages of Friction (inertial) welding:
- Easily joins dissimilar metals. This means the ability to use more expensive corrosion resisting materials where needed, and less resistant but sufficiently strong materials where there is no need- ON THE SAME PART.
- The full surface of the cross section is made up of both metals, airtight and absent of voids.
- Friction welds are higher strength than other means of joining.
- Friction welds often cost less as there are no consumables like filler metals fluxes etc. (This would be the bottom line for most businessmen, but I chose another, see # 7 below.)
- Friction welds minimize the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ).
- Friction welding minimizes the need to clean furnace residues from the entire part, post welding.
- The ability of a designer to optimize material choices by using friction welding cannot be overstated.
I produced truckload quantities of 1050 modified steel for an automotive half shaft application, the friction welding process made this a highly reliable part despite the high carbon content and different material between the alloy steel forged end assembly and the carbon steel shaft.
This welding process is ideal for pumps, process mixers, and other applications where a portion of the part needs to be food safe or chemically resistant, but the remainder of the part does not. The photo below shows an electrical industry bimetallic (copper and aluminum) application.
Frictional welding is a controlled process where two components are frictionally bonded by the heat and mechanical displacement of each material’s being melted and re-fused amongst the melt products at of the other. The bond that is created by the mechanical intermixing and solidification of the two metals is strong and free from voids and porosity. It can be cost effective and offers design engineers many more options than other methods.
Friction or inertial welds are a key process for attaching precision machined components to other parts like shafts or bodies or forgings.
My thanks to Stuart Short at Inertia Friction Welding at IMTS for chatting with me about this not so well known joining process.