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Supplier Solutions
Friction Welding System
June 2006
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Coldwater Machine Company, a custom mechanical solutions supplier, has become the key integrator for German-based Harms+Wende precision-controlled, pneumatic, friction weld heads. The turnkey friction welding system model FWS-30 is designed for small part joining to a broad range of part configurations and dissimilar materials. Friction welding is a process of joining parts utilizing heat generated by rotating one part at a high speed while bringing it into contact with the stationary part to which it will be welded. Once the temperature of the material has been achieved through rotational friction, the rotating element is stopped and pressure is applied causing the two parts to be welded together. The process results in a forge-quality welded joint produced through process control of the predetermined parameters of time, rotational speed, pressure, and temperature.
According to the company, key advantages of the friction welding process over conventional methods include duplicating part-to-part consistency through controlled process parameters; the ability to join unlike materials commonly considered not weldable such as aluminum, high carbon steel, ceramics, bronze, copper, etc.; and forge quality welds with little, or no, diffusion area. The welding process is said to provide significantly faster weld cycle times, be environmentally cleaner and safer and is well-suited for a variety of part configurations. No consumables are required and the system provides ease of welding pre-painted or coated components.
The rotation of the welding system’s weld head spindle is servo-controlled. Precise rotational speeds from 12,000 rpm to 23,400 rpm can be achieved and forging forces from
335 pound-force to 3,125 pound-force can be accurately applied for maximum weld integrity. The parameters are determined based on part configuration, size of the part’s contact surface and the composition of the materials involved. The friction weld head can accept parts with a footprint of up to 30 mm. Because the weld time required for actual friction welding is extremely fast, weld cycle times are easily reduced from minutes to seconds.
The company will configure the friction welding system as a complete turnkey solution. The system can be designed as a stand-alone machine, integrated into a work cell or be part of an automated processing line. The company will design and manufacture all necessary stationary or indexing fixturing and tooling, and integrate, as required, with automated part feeding, or robotics for loading and unloading of parts, and complete part gauging. The company can provide weld samples for customer applications using customer provided workpieces, thereby supplying welded, production-quality test samples for evaluation.
According to the company, the welding system is a proven, cost-effective solution for a variety of welding applications including, appliance manufacturing, medical component production and many others. www.coldwatermachine.com.

 

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