Friction stir welding: green technology with indisputable benefits
Friction stir welding, or FSW, is an innovative joining method. Thanks to the small amount of localized heating, even non-ferrous metals with low melting points can be joined. The process is ideal for joining light metals like aluminum. FSW is often chosen for the joining of mixed materials, such as aluminum and stainless steel, aluminum and copper, or simply copper joints.
Advantages of friction stir welding:
- Firm and stress-resistant joints
- No inert gas or filler material
- Low-emissions and environmentally friendly
- Suitable for thin materials
- Low material costs
The process forms high-quality and stress-resilient joints. The joints can be formed and shaped in further processing steps without any issue. Thanks to the low thermal stress, the technology is ideal for welding thin sheets with thicknesses up to approx. 0.5 mm. There is little wear on the required tools, which has a positive impact on material costs. The technology is particularly environmentally friendly and is beneficial to the safety and health of your operators, as no inert gases or filler materials are required.
History of a young technology
The joining process was developed and patented in 1991 by Wayne Thomas at the TWI (The Welding Institute) research and development institute in Cambridge, UK. Unlike the normal welding process, in FSW the energy is generated by a rotating, wear-resistant tool. In Germany, RRS Schilling GmbH has specialized in welded joints using friction stir welding since 1999. For a reliable partner with many years’ experience, contact RRS Schilling GmbH in Schwarzenbek near Hamburg.