GLASGOW — Two MTI-built rotary friction welding machines have found a new and purposeful home at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), which specializes in innovative manufacturing technologies, metal forming and forging research.
The machines, previously housed at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, will aid the Scottish facility in its efforts to reduce material consumption and increase productivity.
The 125 and 300-ton friction welding machines, which are the biggest of their kind at any UK research center, will be instrumental in offering energy efficient, low-cost solutions for companies across a wide range of industries.
“The rotary friction welding process is generating lots of interest among our members and partners and presents significant opportunities for our customers to integrate fundamental materials knowledge into solid-state joining research,” says Dr. Laurie da Silva, AFRC rotary friction welding team lead.
The tri-mode rotary friction welders live up to their names – they can operate in direct drive, inertia and hybrid welding modes. The machines’ closed-loop process enables the possibility to control the upset, or loss of length, on each part. The machines can create high-integrity, near-net shape parts and will potentially help the AFRC's customers to cut down on material waste.
“These machines are the most advanced rotary friction welders ever built,” says MTI CEO and President Dan Adams. “I have no doubt the AFRC will be able to use them to help companies find innovative solutions to their manufacturing problems.”
The AFRC, like MTC, is part of the UK’s High-Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. It says it has already received significant interest in rotary friction welding from within its network.
“The move of this capability from the MTC is a strong indicator of the strength of the relationships between the seven centres in the HVM Catapult,” says Dr. Michael Ward, AFRC Research Director. “Ourselves and the MTC identified the positive impact moving the machines to the AFRC would have on UK industry in terms of combining this technology with our existing expertise in materials integrity.”
The rotary friction welders were engineered and built at MTI’s global headquarters in South Bend, Indiana and were later supported by MTI’s UK location in Kingswinford.
MTI has established itself as a leader in friction welding, including Rotary Friction, Linear Friction, Low Force Friction, and Friction Stir Welding technologies. In addition to contract manufacturing services, MTI has delivered machines to Boeing, GE, Rolls- Royce, Pratt and Whitney, Federal Mogul, and many of their tier one suppliers. A family owned business founded in 1926, MTI employs 185 people in their South Bend, United Kingdom, and Slovakia locations.
For more information on MTI and its family of world-class friction welding technologies, visit www.mtiwelding.com.