Friction welding is not a one-size-fits-all process — that's what makes it such a versatile joining method. It's just as effective for joining components that you can fit in the palm of your hand as it is for joining parts that require a crane to move from one place to another.
Long before the word "Tesla" spurred any thoughts beyond the iconic inventor of the 1800s, companies around the world were relying on friction welding to join their parts. But just as automotive technology has shifted throughout the decades, friction welding has followed right along, aligning with the demands of the modern consumer and commercial vehicle market.
For decades, MTI has been using friction welding to create unique joining solutions for customers across a variety of industries.
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 world of friction welding is vast -- and so is the vocabulary used to describe it! We've compiled a list of the most commonly used friction welding terms -- from machine components to MTI's processes -- to help you grow your engineering mind!
It's no secret Friction Welding is a highly scientific process; it involves a lot of calculations, engineering and research to get it right. But thanks to the MTI-engineered control system found on each of our friction welding machines, you can trust our technology to do the complex work for you on your shop floor!
In friction welding, we always strive toward repeatability—even when there are differences in the length of incoming parts. This is especially true in the automotive and aerospace industry where finished parts are held to rigid standards. Using Torque Modulation with Dynamic Profile Modification, we’re able to ensure our first welded part is the same length as our last welded part.
MTI has gained global recognition for designing and building the most advanced, customized friction welding machines—including the world’s largest inertia friction welder.
While we are proud of building the largest rotary and linear friction welders in the world, we have also designed and built hundreds of smaller friction welding machines. And that’s where the SPARTAN product line comes in.
Our customers—especially those in the automotive industry—rely on repeatable upset in order to meet tight part tolerances. Remember, upset is the amount of shortening of the two parts as a result of friction welding.
Leveraging the latest in advanced rotary friction welding technology, MTI’s newest double axle machine increases efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness in axle production.
Here are the three things you need to know about MTI’s latest double axle machine:
When it comes to friction welding, we want to work towards repeatability, even when there are incoming part variations. But how can we do that? One way is through pressure modulation.
SOUTH BEND, IN - Ball Aerospace has recognized Manufacturing Technology, Inc. (MTI) for outstanding technical performance on the TIRS-02 Program, a NASA initiative which uses thermal infrared sensors to measure the Earth’s temperature. MTI played an integral role by joining together titanium and copper for the TIRS-02 Cryocooler, which is used on the Landsat Data Continuity satellite.
“We were thrilled to work with Ball Aerospace and work together to find a joining solution that met their needs” said Mike Laiman, MTI’s Manufacturing Services Business Unit Manager. “Collaboration was key to our success.”
Friction welding is a forging technique that produces ultra-strong bonds for diverse applications. This process has been the answer to many manufacturing and engineering challenges for over five decades. From aerospace to automotive, friction welding is continually opening the possibilities for ongoing technological advancement.
Over the course of this series on upset control, we’ve discussed the repeatability of upset control and part variation in rotary friction welding. Remember, upset is the amount of shortening you get in the part as a result of friction welding. Upset is different than overall length, which is the total length of the part after welding.
In Part One of this series, we talked about how upset is the amount of shortening of a part resulting from friction welding. Remember, if we had perfect incoming parts then we could fix the amount of energy used to make that weld, and get very repeatable upset. However, incoming parts variations such as area differences, surface conditions, material differences, or even interface “squareness” can cause subtle variations in upset.
The 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show is going on right now (September 12-17, 2016 in Chicago, IL) and MTI is here! We’re in the North Building, B Hall (Fabricating & Lasers), Booth N-6014 and it’s great talking with colleagues in the manufacturing sector about our friction welding technologies. Specifically, MTI representatives are talking about our newest machine we’ve introduced: the double-ended rotary axle machine.
In previous Whiteboard Wednesday videos, we discussed the various types and benefits of rotary friction welding. The two most common types that have been discussed are Inertia and Direct Drive Friction. In this post, we’re going to look at an important aspect of these friction welding types: upset control.
MTI customers are helping us drive positive change in manufacturing every day. Our latest innovation — a double-ended rotary axle machine — is a perfect example.
Based on input from our customers, we’ve engineered a solution that uses advanced technology to increase efficiency, control and cost effectiveness in axle production.
The hybrid friction welding cycle is a type of rotary friction welding, and is a combination of the direct drive process and the inertia process. The direct drive process has a constant energy input using an electric motor. The inertia friction welding cycle, on the other hand, has rotating flywheels that store the energy needed for the weld, which makes it a fixed energy cycle. Hybrid friction welding is a combination of both.
Direct Drive Friction Welding is the oldest form of the rotary friction welding process. Direct Drive friction welding can be used to join a variety of part geometries and materials, making a high quality, solid state joint. Here is the MTI process for direct drive welding:
Inertia friction welding is a variation of the rotary friction welding process. Inertia friction welding uses kinetic energy with applied force to join parts together. The kinetic energy is achieved by the use of flywheels, a set of heavy rotating wheels that are used to store rotational energy.
Rotary friction welding is a flexible technique that can provide many advantages over traditional fusion welding processes. In order to use the rotary friction welding process, you must have one part that is symmetric around its rotating axis. The non-rotating component, can also be symmetrical but does not have to be.
There are three main types of rotary friction welding—Inertia, direct drive and hybrid friction welding. Each technique offers a unique advantage depending upon the type of materials being welded as well as the shape or geometries of the materials. Let’s take a look at some application examples.
You may not realize it, but friction welded parts are part of your everyday life. A good example of an everyday application of friction welding can be found in a component used with automobile air bag inflators. This component is found in steering , wheels, glove boxes, dash boards, seats, and side panels, and since every car needs air bags, this component has a very high volume demand. The tricky part is that, due to the intricacy of the specific component shown in the video, it could not be made from a single piece.
One of the world’s largest aerospace companies has awarded Manufacturing Technology, Inc., a contract worth approximately $25 million for three aerospace Rotary Friction Welding (RFW) machines to be developed and built in South Bend over a twoyear period. One of the machines being built will be the world’s largest Rotary Friction Welder, with inertia capacity twice that of any other machine on the planet. This contract, along with other recent orders, has resulted in the hiring of six new employees with an additional 11 open positions at the company’s South Bend location.
A state of the art Rotary Friction Welding (RFW) machine developed and built by South Bend based Manufacturing Technology Inc., is leaving Michiana to begin a 4,000 mile journey to the United Kingdom. The final destination is the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), a research facility for new manufacturing techniques that bridges the technology readiness gap between development in academia and execution in industry. The machine is designed for research and development on jet engine components for companies like Rolls Royce, General Electric, and Pratt and Whitney.
In January of 2014, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, a British Cabinet position responsible for economic and financial matters, toured the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) located in Ansty Park, Coventry in January 2014. The Chancellor was duly impressed with the facility and its potential to provide state-of-the art collaborative research to the aerospace industry and advanced manufacturing fields.