FSW results in:
Innovation thank to multi-material assembly
Diversification of your process offer at a lower cost
Solution to the lack of qualified welders
FSW is today democratized in aeronautics, automotive, space, rail and naval (welding standard: ISO 25239).
Manufacturing of cheaper and lighter panels
FSW allows the assembly of aluminum profiles for rigid panel manufacturing:
- Thinner and wider panels: aluminium profiles are generally lower than 400-mm wide, FSW overcomes this limits by butt welding profiles.
- One manufacturing step: no part preparation, no degreasing, no machining after welding
- Lighter and more rigid panels: profile optimization associated to FSW limits the useless shapes.
- Quality: the weld is perfectly sealed and the mechanical strengths are close to those of the base material.
Maturity: this technology is already used in automotive (battery casing), rail (car blank), aeronautics and naval (floor).
Manufacture of heak sinks or other sealed system
An active heak sink is an aluminium component in which a fluid circulates cooling electronic components. Conventional assembly technologies (screwing, brazing or FE welding) can lead to problems of quality (leakage, mechanical resistance), design (complex geometries are not possible) and manufacturing (time-consuming set-up).
The solution: FSW leads to perfectly sealed welds and resistant to high pressures. Moreover, FSW is very easy to implement, even for small batches and complex geometries.
Examples of application sectors of: aeronautics, railway, wind turbine, military
Reduction of raw material
Many mechanical parts are machined from a massive block of aluminium where up to 90% of material is removed. Many companies would like to reduce their cost of raw material and their machining time.
The solution: part welding by FSW in order to get a preform as close as possible to the final shape.
Examples of application sectors: aeronautics, military, nuclear, space.
Welding of casted parts
Aluminium casted parts are difficult or not weldable with conventional processes (degassing of casted aluminium).
The solution: FSW allows the welding of aluminium castings, even die casted pieces, due to the solid state.
Examples of application sectors: automotive, electronic casings. Several car manufacturers have adopted FSW to optimize the vehicule weight while not affecting the mechanical characteristics. The automotive industry already uses FSW to product wheels, battery casing and heat exchangers. Below, cooling fins on an electronic housing: 2 FSW welds to ensure the thermal conductivity.
Replacement of traditional assemblies (riveting, MIG, bonding)
The most resistant aluminum alloys are not weldable with conventional technologies because of their chemical composition (2000 and 7000 series). These alloys are currently assembled by screwing, sticking or riveting. Many companies would like to replace these processes to reduce manufacturing costs while increasing the mechanical strength of assemblies.
The solution: FSW results in fast and high strenght assembly of all aluminum alloys.
Examples of application sectors: aerospace, civil engineering (bridges). FSW is one of the most significant advances in manufacturing of NASA Space shuttle tanks, as well as in Ariane and Space X rockets.
Replacement of spot welding
Conventional resistance welding requires a finishing operation for ornamental applications. This operation is time-consuming and tedious requiring qualified operators.
The solution: FSW by lap welding results in no-affected back side and eliminates grinding.
Examples of application sectors: sheet jobshop, aeronautics.
Welding of copper components
FSW replaces resistance welding or brazing by improving the junction quality, by reducing the manufacturing cost (no electrode wear) and by increasing the mechanical resistance.
Example of application sector: energy.
Replacement of copper by aluminium (welding Cu / Al).
FSW allows a metallurgical junction between copper and aluminium limiting electrical resistivity.
Example of application sector: energy.