RFSSW is a direct outgrowth of FSW research and development. The best way to apply RFSSW is to understand its key characteristics and advantages.
Refer to the RFSSW Technology page for more detail about the process.
- Solid-state joining – no shielding gas required
- Superior cosmetics
- Mechanical disruption of the oxide-covered surfaces
- Single setup for different thicknesses
- Capable of joining dissimilar materials
- Low cycle time – sub-one-second in some alloys/thickness
These characteristics of the process translate into attributes of assemblies with RFSSW joints:
- High Joint Quality
- Smooth Surfaces
- Excellent Durability
- Design Flexibility
- Production Friendly
State of the Art
RFSSW has tremendous potential. However, more development is needed in the area of tool design and welding procedures.
The remaining technological hurdles to be overcome are welding tool life and tool cleaning requirements. To drive the cost-per-spot down, tools need to produce a larger number of welds without interruption.
Bond produces the most robust, production-ready RFSSW system in the world – we have the innovation in tooling materials and design to fully exploit this process in a high-rate production environment.
Below are examples of common applications for RFSSW in research and industrial production.
RFSSW has multiple applications for the manufacture of automobiles. Here are some examples:
- Spot Weld Replacement
Resistance spot welding is fundamentally difficult to use between aluminum sheets due to the interfacial oxide layer. Weld electrodes also require a high current and suffer from poor durability. RFSSW offers a high-quality, smooth finish surface, and has cycle times similar to resistance spot welding.
- Fastener Replacement
Aluminum body structures, and fasteners such as “self-piercing” rivets, are often used to attach secondary components. Not only does RFSSW eliminate the need to supply rivets during assembly, but RFSSW can also accommodate various thicknesses with a single toolset.
Research and Development
RFSSW is an emerging technology with a wide range of potential in manufacturing processes, including high-rate automated production.
The relatively low cost of the Bond RFSSW system makes it especially attractive to research institutions seeking to make advances in joining technology.
The manufacture of aircraft has historically relied on rivets and mechanical fasteners to build airframes. This contributes to damage tolerance by producing boundaries for crack propagation, resulting in stress concentrations.
RFSSW eliminates stress concentrations, reduces part count, and provides the potential for automation in manufacturing.