Metal and Steel Friction Welding Concepts, Part 2

metal steel friction welding
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Metal and Steel Friction Welding Concepts, Part 2

metal steel friction welding

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on what’s known as friction welding. Available for both many metal types and some non-metal materials, friction welding is a welding process that utilizes no melting, but rather a combination of pressure and velocity to create the heat needed to join two materials.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re happy to detail which of our steel sheet, plate, bar and other steel products are best for friction welding or other welding processes. How does friction welding compare to another relatively similar process, and why is this process generally chosen (hint: there are several possible reasons)? Let’s discuss these areas in part two of our series.

Friction Welding Vs Inertia Welding

In some circles, you’ll see friction welding and “inertia welding” used as interchangeable terms. In reality, however, the latter is actually a sub-category of the former.

Remember how in part one, we went over the different types of friction welding? One of those types was rotary friction welding, and inertia welding belongs in this category. It involves one piece of metal being kept in one place while the other is mounted on a spindle, which can rotate quickly and create friction between the two materials. There are some other technical details that differentiate this from other forms of friction welding, such as temperature and maximum revolutions for the spindle. It’s normal to hear these terms used similarly, but you should be sure you’re very specific if you’re actually ordering one of these processes completed for your steel.

Why It’s Done

Friction welding, as we’ve noted, is versatile and applicable to many metal and non-metal materials. Within the metal world, there are several specific benefits and reasons why it will be chosen above other welding formats in many cases:

  • Differing metals: Unlike most other welding types, one of the most valuable qualities of friction welding is its ability to combine metals that are not the same. This is known as a bimetallic friction joint, and is possible for combinations like aluminum to steel, nickel alloy to steel, titanium to copper and other such combinations that simply wouldn’t be possible with other forms of welding.
  • Speed: Friction welding is one of the fastest welding processes out there.
  • No external heat: There is no external heat or flux required for friction welding, which limits both cost and mess.
  • Quality: Like other forms of welding that require no melting, products tend to have very few defects when put under the friction welding process.
  • Prep: You do not need lubricants or oils for friction welding, and it can be used on recently machined or cut surfaces.

For more on the benefits of friction welding for steel and other metals, or to learn about any of our steel products or services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.