Friction stir welding

Friction stir welding (FSW) is particularly suitable for joining non-ferrous metals with a low melting temperature. It is also possible to join material combinations such as aluminum and steel with this solid-phase joining process.

Friction stir welding: the technology

Friction stir welding is a process in which a rotating pin is traversed along the contact surfaces between the workpieces. The frictional heat plasticizes the material, which is welded together.

The process is particularly suitable for economical joining of non-ferrous metals with a low melting temperature and mixed-material combinations. Even materials that are difficult to weld or dissimilar materials such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium, or steel can be joined with friction stir welding.

This technology is used in various industries. From the automotive industry and aviation through to the electronics industry.

Automatic friction stir welding

From side walls for high-speed trains over rocket components to cooling systems for power electronics - we find the right friction stir welding solution for every situation. KUKA customers have the choice between:

 

  • Robot-based solutions that allow you to add complex 3D seams,

  • Portal systems that are particularly suitable for two-dimensional and thick-walled components made of non-ferrous metals which offer the advantage of scalable stiffness.        

 

With our steering system you are also ideally equipped for industry 4.0. The KUKA PCD (Process Control and Documentation) archives all process data and thus allows further analysis possibilities, for example, in cloud systems.

Friction stir welding: the advantages

Friction stir welding is characterized by these properties, in particular: 

  • Green technology: low energy requirement, no need for chemical pretreatment, and the absence of fumes and gases make friction stir welding an environmentally friendly process.
  • Mechanical welding process: the weld seam has a very high quality and is very durable, as the welding process remains below the melting point of the materials being joined. Pores and cracks are avoided.
  • Everything from a single source: from feasibility and process investigations to trial welds, tool selection and parameter optimization, including the conceptual design, manufacture and delivery of the system, KUKA offers the entire spectrum of services associated with friction stir welding.

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