Friction Machine-+ You

Friction Machine - + You

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Friction Stir Welding:

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid-state process by which high quality and high-strength welds in potentially difficult-to-weld alloys are possible. This cutting-edge technology is becoming an increasingly popular choice for manufacturing lightweight transportation structures such as automotive, aerospace, light rail and marine applications. Friction Stir Welding was developed in the early 1990's by TWI (The Welding Institute) in the UK and is considered a green process with no fumes or arc light emitted nor shielding gas or welding wire consumed.
Quebec-based Innovation Partner CRIQ developed this FSW system to utilize the FANUC M-900iA robot to perform the welding process. FSW requires a large amount of down force to plunge at the start and maintain tool orientation, so heavy-duty tooling is required to hold the parts in position. The M-900iA robot is an ideal solution for this task; its servo-controlled speed, accuracy and heavy payload capacity ensure the optimum down force is applied while producing high-quality welds.  The welds joint is typically configured with 2 plates in a butt joint configuration or a through weld stack in a lap joint configuration.
The FSW tool provides friction and rotation to stir the material below the actual melting point and forming the weld zone.  A continuously rotated, non-consumable cylindrical-shouldered tool is transversely fed at a constant rate into a butt joint between the two clamped pieces of material. The pin tool is slightly shorter than the weld depth required, with the tool shoulder riding atop the work surface at a precise yet slight angle. Frictional heat is generated between the wear-resistant FSW tool and the work pieces. As the pin is moved forward, a special profile on the shoulder face forces the material back behind the direction of travel where down force assists in the formation of the weld.
This innovative welding system from CRIQ combines the flexibility of a FANUC Robot with the multiple benefits of friction stir welding, including an improved work environment with protection from smoke and noxious gases, and energy efficiency. To learn more about friction stir welding from Innovation Partners CRIQ, please visit their website at
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