Manufacturing

Friction welding in the metal industry

Updated on Thursday 26 August 2021, 1:48 PM

3 Minute Read

Friction welding is a method used all over the world to join components such as axles, piston rods and drill pipes. But did you know, friction welding is not only limited to these markets and can be adapted to many other applications? Here at KUKA, we are always responding to changing industry demands.

One example of where friction welding can be used is in the metal industry. There are many applications in which friction welding has proved successful.

Tooling

Friction welding has proved very successful for welding tools, such as drill bits for example. Stronger than conventional welding, friction welded drill tools have an enhanced join integrity, as the weld is as strong as the parent material. This is vital for drill tools as they are commonly used at high-speed, so the weld must be strong enough to withstand dynamic stresses endured during drilling.

Another common drill tool characteristic is dissimilar material combinations. Friction welding can accommodate this and be used to weld various materials. The drill tool can be a specific grade of high-speed steel, and the shaft can be an inexpensive or lighter material to save on cost and weight.

Printing rollers

Friction welding has been used in the printing roller industry, decreasing production time and reducing product weight. This method allows the machining time on endcaps to be reduced, and eliminates the need for weld preparation, further decreasing production time.

The option of joining dissimilar materials provides the manufacturer with many different welding options to further reduce cost and weight.

Dissimilar material shafts

One of the most significant benefits of friction welding, is the capability of welding dissimilar materials, which might not be possible using conventional welding methods.

As proven in the above examples, joining dissimilar materials provides a huge advantage across many different applications, whether to reduce cost, or weight. Friction welding can weld many different types of materials together whilst providing a homogeneous bond that is strong as the parent material.

There are many applications in which friction welding is used to join dissimilar materials. In the automotive industry to reduce weight, in the electrical industry for conductivity, and in the tooling industry to reduce material costs.

Many applications could be more efficient by using multiple material combinations, and friction welding is a strong, clean and reliable method of joining them.

Gear Shafts

The main advantage of friction welding gear shafts is to reduce overall machining costs. To produce a complete gear shaft requires a lot of machining and produces material waste. By introducing friction welding, the gear and the shaft can be manufactured separately (reducing material waste) and friction welded together. This would also allow other materials to be used, as friction welding supports the joining of dissimilar materials. This can be a benefit to gear shaft manufacturers as the parent gear and shaft materials reduce production time, cost and weight.

To find out more, contact frictionwelding.uk@kuka.com or call 0121 585 0888

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