Friction welding offers a wealth of solutions to tough manufacturing problems. Thanks to key advantages — such as consistent quality, the ability to join different metals together, and reduced material waste — friction welding is a time-efficient and cost-effective way to produce new parts. Friction welding is a powerful process that not only provides forged quality components, but gives engineers the confidence that the part will meet the quality standards of their application.
When manufacturing critical components for applications such as transportation, space flight, oil & gas, construction, and the military, quality isn’t just important — it’s absolutely essential. Implementing a trusted joining technology allows components to reach the desired quality and durability.
One small part — the lift screw — is a great example of what makes friction welding so useful. It’s a part you might find in an automobile power seat, or in the wing of an airplane, where it helps raise and lower the flaps.
There are a couple traditional ways to produce a lift screw:
Friction welding in the United States started in the late 1960s when Caterpillar Tractor Company wanted to produce hydraulic cylinder rods, or piston rods.
A key challenge they faced was that many of these parts were made out of single-piece forgings, which were — and still are — very expensive to produce. When they examined all of their parts, they found they had a smaller number of eyes than clevises, and they wanted to be able to weld these rods to different lengths and diameters. Friction welding allowed them to create two-piece forgings that would be much less expensive to produce.
Friction welding is a truly innovative process. In fact, it is not really welding at all, but actually a forging process that uses force and motion to create a solid-state bond. Friction welding offers a number of joining and welding solutions that can help you make smart design decisions.