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.
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 →