A unique and innovative method of jointing metals, friction stir welding uses frictional heat combined with precisely controlled forging pressure to produce high integrity, full penetration welded joints that are virtually defect free. Due to a very low welding temperature, mechanical distortion is practically eliminated, with minimal heat affected zone (HAZ), and an excellent surface finish. The FSW process is effective on flat plated, cylindrical components and even parts of irregular thickness.

POWERSTIR- Friction Stir Welding machines have attracted considerable interest from organisations seeking an innovative way of creating superior, high strength welded joints, without the detrimental and visible effects typically associated with conventional welding.

Developed for a broad range of applications – with special attention paid to structural rigidity and the load-sensing requirements of the FSW process – POWERSTIR – machines are able to accommodate the heaviest of welding loads, ensuring precise force control and minimum deflection.

POWERSTIR – models offer precise position control, force control, load sensing, real-time data logging of weld parameters, seam tracking and height sensing.

Friction Stir Welding Steel and Titanium Alloys for Aerospace and Avionics
Recent research and development activities at UK Headquarters have taken the capabilities of POWERSTIR – Friction Stir Welding machines to new heights, to include the jointing of exotic steel and titanium alloys that are particularly well-suited to space and aerospace applications.

The company have successfully welded in both; aerospace-grade steel alloy and aerospace-grade titanium in thicknesses of 3mm and 8mm, using PTG fixed pin tooling.

Range of Stirring Solutions
From small research machines to specialist models for ellipsoidal and spherical contour welding to static gantry and moving heavy gantry models for rail, shipbuilding and aerospace, POWERSTIR – FSW machines have been developed for a broad range of applications.

Typical POWERSTIR applications
• Locomotive train and carriage panels (aluminium)
• Aircraft fuselage and avionics development
• Truck bodies, caravans and space frames
• Heat sinks and electronics enclosures
• Boat and ship panel sections
• Flat and cylindrical fuel tanks and bulk liquid containers
• Aluminium Bridge sections, architectural structures and frames
• Pipelines and heat exchangers
• Electrical motor housings.

Table Friction Stir Welders/Research Centres
Typically used for educational purposes or for the manufacture of small components, in table models all processes can be shielded in the machine chamber. Table models are particularly suited to welding thin wall sections. Examples include: hydraulic cylinders, suspension dampers and heat exchanger components.

Static Gantry, Moving Table Friction Stir Welders
Available in a range of sizes and capabilities, static gantry machines have found particular favour in experimental work, particularly that involving the development of aircraft wings and bodies. Static gantry machines have also been used in the advancement of space technology, with FSW welds enabling a reduction in the wall thickness of various components.

Moving Gantry/Heavy Gantry Friction Stir Welders
The POWERSTIR – FSW moving gantry range includes models built especially for use in the manufacture of railway car bodies. For instance; the design and build of 30m x 4m gantry machines, as used to produce carriage floor, sidewall and end wall panels. Heavy gantry, double beam models are also available for heavy section jointing applications.

Author details:
Avinash N Sahastrabudhe,
Fineweld Systems.
B-1 & 2, Shree Apartment 98, East High Court Road, Ramdaspeth, Nagpur – 440010, Maharashtra
Email id: fineweld@gmail.com,
Web: www.fineweldsystems.com

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