It’s now possible to weld any aluminum alloy to any other aluminum alloy, in extrusions, forgings, castings, and rolled plates.
Cast magnesium can be welded. Two-inch thick copper can be welded in a single pass. Aluminum composites with embedded hard particles can be joined without segregation of the constituents. Aluminum can be welded to steel, copper, and magnesium. Titanium can be welded – cast to wrought to plate.
Early adopters of FSW were aluminum extrusion producers. Since FSW produces very low distortion and is fully mechanized, they found that relatively narrow extrusions could be welded edge-to-edge to produce very large integrally stiffened panels, with near-perfect flatness. These value-added products were then cut to shape to make ship decks and trailers. Bond produces a very large FSW system specifically for this application, the LS Series, which features dual welding heads that can simultaneously weld both sides of hollow extrusions, producing highly efficient structures.