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Friction welding is a pressure welding process. This technology can be used to join materials of the same type or of different types. KUKA established friction welding as an industrial joining process in 1966.
Friction welding: the technology
Friction welding is a solid state bonding process that produces high integrity, full contact joints. By rotating one work piece relative to another, whilst under a compressive axle force, the friction generated between the two faying surfaces produces heat, causing the interface material to plasticise. The compressive forge force displaces the plasticised material, extruding interface material and any contaminants, promoting molecular bonding, creating a homogeneous bond between the parent materials. With friction welding, no third party filler materials, flux or shielding gases are required. The process is machine controlled, 100% repeatable, with full in-process monitoring and quality assured.
Thompson subcontract friction welding provides advanced manufacturing processes for a wide variety of industrial components, across several industries.
Process sequence of rotary friction welding
Frictional contact phase
One of the workpieces is rotated. Simultaneously, the other component is pressed against it with a defined level of pressure.
The contact surfaces heat up due to the relative motion (rotation) and the simultaneous pressure.
The rotation stops and the pressure is increased once again. This enables the plasticized material to be joined to the other component.
Both materials remain under pressure and can then cool down slowly.
Advantages of rotary friction welding over conventional welding
Very high bond quality
Provides a fully homogeneous bond across the entire joint interface
Produces dissimilar material direct bonds
Materials do not melt during the friction welding process
High speed, high integrity bonds
Machine controlled process eliminates human error
Suitable for high or low volume production
No consumables required
Pre-weld preparations can be less critical for this process
Automated friction welding
Our flexible robot based systems allow for automated loading and unloading of our rotary friction welding machines, dependant upon your exacting requirements.
KUKA oﬀers a range of compact and modular Thompsonfriction welding machines with forge capacities up to 400 Tons for the ﬂexible implementation of friction welding processes, adapted to the parameters and fixtures applicable to the weld component.
If you aren't able to acquire your own friction welding machine, no problem. Have your welding carried out by KUKA's automation professionals on premise at our Halesowen facility. We have been carrying out subcontract welding work, developing components and producing prototypes for renowned companies since 1970.
High weldability also for Bi-metallic and dissimilar materials:
KUKA guarantees you supreme quality in the production of safety-relevant components and enables you to weld even unusual material combinations:
Copper & aluminium
Copper & stainless steel
Aluminium & stainless steel
Mild steel & stainless steel
Carbon Steel & Stainless Steel
Titanium & aluminium
Plus many more...
KUKA Advanced welding solutions pay off
KUKA offers complete friction welding solutions for a vast range of applications – with a large machine portfolio and additional support ranging from engineering to service. Find out more about the advantages and check our weldability chart to see which material combinations are possible to join.