A high heat conductivity, a high stability and lightweight — there is a reason why aluminum is such a popular material in many industries.
Durability and resistance to weather and wear means that aluminum is in high demand for mounting scaffoldings, among other things. Yet, due to its low melting point of 660 °C (1,220 °F / 933.15 °K), it can be a challenge to join the light metal. Conventional fusion welding methods require high process temperatures and can easily heat aluminum to its liquid or even gas phase. This leads to irregular joint lines and pores along the welding zone — the joints are often warped or leaking.
Friction stir welding, however, joins aluminum components in a simple and precise way.
Since friction forges the weld, the material only heats up to just below its melting point, rotation is then applied to move the material to form the joint. This method produces strong and tight joints without warpage.
Shaping and processing the aluminum parts in later steps is not an issue: closely grained micro-structures form the weld in the middle of the joint line — and they are of equal hardness, malleability and ductility to the base material.
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