Bimetallic friction welded wedding bands for both the bride and groom!
They’re in cars, they’re on planes, they’re under trains – and now, thanks to some ingenuity from a group of engineers at MTI, you can also find friction welds… on a finger.
When Sparks Fly
Few people know their way around a friction welding machine better than Reinhardt Criss. As a Field Service Engineer, Reinhardt travels all over the world, installing and servicing MTI-built friction welders.
In early 2020, while visiting a customer’s plant in Mexico, sparks flew for Reinhardt – and not just the kind you might see from a friction welding machine.
It was on that fateful visit that Reinhardt met and fell in love with a metallurgist who worked at the plant. The two dated, got engaged and began planning their wedding.
When came the time to pick out wedding rings, Reinhardt skipped the jewelry store – he instead gravitated toward the very thing that brought he and his bride together: friction welding.
Reinhardt had a vision for the rings – he wanted a silver metal on one side and the yellow metal on the other side. To him, two metals were better than one… and, as it turns out, two – or maybe even four – minds were better than one, when it came to pulling off his plan.
Reinhardt shared his idea with a small group of MTI engineers, who excitedly offered to help their friend friction weld the wedding rings before and after their shifts.
The group agreed – Kovar and brass would achieve the duotone look Reinhardt desired, and the melting points were similar enough to create a strong bond. So, doing what anyone who quickly needed materials would do, Reinhardt turned to Amazon. Thanks to the power of Prime, the metals were on their way.
Using a smaller rotary friction welding machine at Manufacturing Services, the group tweaked the parameters and part geometry just right to join the Kovar and brass into wedding rings. But the project wasn’t done there – at this point, the “rings” still looked like bars of metal – they needed to be machined.
The Rotary Friction Welding process of the wedding bands.
Luckily one of the engineers, Rick Stephens, offered to machine the rings at his home, creating a perfect fit for Reinhardt and his bride’s fingers – and just in the nick of time, too.
The machined and finished wedding bands!
“I talked about doing this for about eight months,” Reinhardt explained. “But the stars and our schedules aligned only a few days before our wedding.”
The moral of this story? Never underestimate the power of a determined groom… or bimetallic friction welding.
CONNECT WITH MTI
While your project may not require welding wedding rings, MTI can provide custom solutions from part designs to machine builds! Have a project in mind? Reach out to any of our knowledgeable sales managers to get started!
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