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Tag Archives | Friction Stir Welding

Friction-stir welding (FSW) is a solid-state joining process (the metal is not melted). A constantly rotated non-consumable cylindrical-shouldered tool with a profiled probe is transversely fed at a constant rate into a butt joint between two clamped pieces of butted material.

Friction Stir Welding

A solid-state joining process (the metal is not melted) that uses a third body tool to join two facing surfaces. Heat is generated between the tool and material, which leads to a very soft region near the FSW tool. It then mechanically intermixes the two pieces of metal at the place of the joint, then the softened metal (due to the elevated temperature) can be joined using mechanical pressure (it is applied by the tool), much like joining clay or dough. It is primarily used on structures that need superior weld strength without a post weld heat treatment.

Welding Innovation Improves Manufacturing Versatility

A new friction stir welding technique gives manufacturers the ability to weld complex, three-dimensional shapes.

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a technology that has crept quietly onto the scene over the years with a niche play in the aerospace industry, welding aluminum components together. FSW was developed in 1991 by The Welding Institute and consists of an innovative mechanical principle—heating two adjoining pieces to their plastic state by plunging a rotating tool head into them and mixing them together.

The FSW technique offers several advantages over conventional welding methods, including lower cost operation since it requires no consumables, a more consistent/stronger weld, and a better quality weld due to the weld being formed at a lower temperature.EADS-welding

The Airbus Group is on the forefront of this technology and developed a new head design that is proving to be a game changer. The technology is called DeltaN FS and consists of both mechanical and controls related innovations. The DeltaN FS technology features a compact head with a stationary shoulder, the piece used to support and guide the rotating tool head. Continue Reading →

Adding Senses to Robots Multiplies Manufacturing Value

Advancing technologies have given robots the ability to adapt to the environment around them, greatly increasing their value in production applications in manufacturing.

Watching a robot in action is a pretty cool thing. A six-axis robot can perform moves that are as good, or better, than the human arm, and it can do it fast! We regularly wow students on facility tours who get to see our robot demos in action, zipping from one position to another. I imagine this is the case for automation professionals as well. When touring a manufacturing facility and catch a glimpse of a robot in operation, I eagerly await the opportunity to stand in front of it and watch it do its thing. Maybe this is just my reaction. Am I the only robo-geek out there or do you feel the same?

Unfortunately, more often than not, I am let down by what the robot is actually doing: the same thing over and over, following the same path at the same speed. Beyond the initial wow factor generated by a lot of motion and maybe an innovative end-effector (end-of-arm tool), robots are not really doing anything very cool or providing the value they could be if they were to leverage advancing technology. Continue Reading →