Hearing Friction Welding could mean something different to someone who is not familiar with welding. The term is quite straightforward: using friction to obtain a weld. The word asperities is an important phrase as it is a smooth surface containing many microscopic projections. These smooth surfaces interact when moved relatively. This simple principle is used to obtain friction welds.

Well, in this article, I’ll be discussing friction welding, its meaning, applications, diagrams, methods, and working. I’ll also emphasize the advantages and disadvantages of friction welding in today’s industrial world.


What is friction welding?

Similar to forge welding, friction welding is a solid-state welding process that generates heat through mechanical friction between the workpieces in relative motion with one another. The addition of literal forces helps to obtain the weld. Friction welding is used with metals and thermoplastics in a wide variety of aviation and automotive applications.

The friction welding process is different from fusion welding but more like forge welding because no melting occurs. The weld is obtained because of the thermomechanical treatment at the contact surface.

As earlier mentioned, in the work of friction welding, heat is generated at the melting part of the workpiece so that it can fuse (weld) when external pressure is applied. The friction takes place between the parts until it turns plastic, normally at 900–1300 centigrades of steel.

At this point, a uniformly increasing pressure force is applied to the workpiece, and a permanent joint is obtained. Generating friction is the force-resisting motion between two or more interacting surfaces. The interaction of these asperities through elastic and plastic yielding generates heat. Friction welding utilizes this event for joining applications. You can read the full article here.

Friction Welding Techniques

The following are the different friction welding methods:

Rotary friction welding

Rotary friction welding (RFW) is one of the most common methods of friction welding. One part of the material is rotated by the other and pressed down. The heating of the material is caused by friction work and creates a permanent weld. This method of welding is shown in the video below.

Linear friction welding

Linear friction welding (LFW) is achieved by moving one of the parts to be welded in a linear reciprocating motion across the face of a stationary part.

Friction stir welding

In this method of friction welding, a non-consumable tool is used to join the two-facing workpieces. This is solid-state welding and does not melt the workpiece material. The friction between the rotating tool and the material generates heat.

Friction surfacing

Friction surfacing is a method derived from friction welding where a coating material is applied to a substrate. Mechtrode is the name of the rod that contains the coating material. It is rotated under pressure generating a plasticized layer in the rod at the interface with the substrate.

Diagram of friction welding methods

Read more: 5 Different Types of Welding Joints

Watch the video below to learn about friction welding:

Applications of friction welding:

The applications of friction welding are vast in today’s world of manufacturing. This is because friction is used in welding tubes and shafts. It is also widely used in the aerospace, marine, oil, and automobile industries to weld machine parts. It is also applicable to components like gears, axle tubes, drivelines, valves, etc.

Applications of friction welding are also used to join hydraulic piston rods, truck rollers bushes, etc. It is used to weld drill bits, connecting rods, gear levers, etc. Finally, friction welding processes are widely used in the electrical industry for welding copper and aluminum equipment.

Read more: Understanding welding inspection

Advantages and disadvantages of friction welding


Now you can see that this type of welding applies to different fields and can be to weld different items. This is because it helps in reducing grain growth in engineering materials such as high-strength heat-treatment steel. And because no melting is involved.  Dissimilar materials can be joined In this type of welding. That is why it is applicable in aerospace, where lightweight materials like aluminum and high strength are to be joined.

Another advantage is that the weld surface is cleaned due to the motion between the materials that are joined and full strength is obtained in the joint with no additional weight to the workpiece.

Friction welding is also used with thermoplastic materials. It uses very low heat and pressure on the materials. This is why friction welding can be used to join metals to plastics with the metal interface being machined. Well, the following are some other advantages of friction welding:


That is all for this article, where the definition, applications, diagram, methods, working, advantages, and disadvantages of friction welding are discussed. I hope this post was helpful, if so, kindly share it with others thanks for reading, and see you around!


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