Friction Stir Welding Applications

Best Use of a Superior Joining Process

Home // Applications Technologies and Industries // Friction Stir Welding (FSW) Applications

The best way to approach this topic is to begin with a review of the advantages of FSW.

Refer to the FSW Technology page for more detail about the process.

FSW ADVANTAGES

  • High joint quality
  • Low distortion
  • High fatigue strength
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Joins dissimilar alloys
  • “Green” process
  • Strength and Ductility

These characteristics of the process translate into attributes of assemblies with FSW joints:

  • Damage Tolerant
  • Dimensionally Accurate
  • Long Service Life
  • Design Flexibility
  • Production Friendly

Each FSW application is justified by one or more of these attributes.
Below are examples of common applications for FSW in research and industrial production.

Automotive

FSW has found several important applications in the manufacture of automobiles. Here are some examples:

  • Tailored Blanks

FSW permits the joining of any aluminum alloy to any other aluminum alloy, and can even join plates of dissimilar thickness. This enables the production of custom-engineered blanks for subsequent stamping, such as for door panels. Our GG Series and LS Series machines are well-suited for this application.

  • Battery Trays

FSW is ideal for this application based on dimensional accuracy and damage tolerance. Aluminum plates, stampings, extrusions, and castings can be joined with high accuracy, making subsequent operations easier. Consider our GG Series, and LS Series machines for your battery tray production operations.

  • Power Modules

Small heat exchangers are a key application for our RM Series machines. FSW is able to join lids to heat exchangers with higher quality and lower cycle time compared to traditional vacuum brazing.

Research and Development

Since its inception in 1991, FSW has continued to experience robust activity in the R&D world. There is still much to be learned through continued research and development.

Bond produces the RM Series of machine specifically to facilitate cutting-edge research. The RM7, RM10, and RM15 systems are our highest-capability machines which push the envelope of what is possible – just what research institutions need.

Shipbuilding

Shipbuilding has long benefitted from FSW for the production of integrally stiffened panels of all sizes. Low distortion joints make possible edge welding of extruded aluminum shapes to produce wide panels that can subsequently be cut to size and arc welded to support structures.

This approach also makes it possible to produce wide plates from narrower extrusions, making the sourcing of the extrusions much more competitive.

Our LS Series was specifically developed for this application.

Aerospace

Aerospace application of FSW started with the production of cryogenic fuel tanks and launch vehicles. These tanks require very long welds with perfect quality, sometimes in exotic aluminum alloys, making the application perfect for FSW.

In addition, FSW has been developed for use in aircraft for applications such as making integrally stiffened skins and stiffened panels for subsequent high-speed machining.

Considerable research has been conducted for these structures which require long service life with high corrosion resistance, high fatigue strength, and resistance to stress corrosion cracking.

See our Special Purpose Machines and our LS Series for these applications.

Rail Cars

Production of high-speed rail cars requires dimensional accuracy and high-quality welds in aluminum alloys, often from complex extruded products.

Our GG Series and GL Series machines offer the large work envelope and multi-axis welding head positioning required for this application.

Electronics

Applications for FSW in the electronics industry include the production of deliverable products, such as heat exchangers, and the production of equipment for the manufacture of electronic components.

FSW can weld very thick aluminum in a single pass with excellent surface characteristics, making it ideal for the production of vacuum chambers that pass stringent leak test requirements.

Our Special Purpose Machines are custom-engineered for these niche applications.

Let Bond Technologies help you find the best Friction Stir Welding solution for your application.

For customer service questions related to your existing FSW machine by Bond Technologies, call us directly at +1 (574) 327-6730.