Friction Element Welding

Process definition:

Friction Element Welding (FEW) is a solid-state joining process for overlapping sheet metals in which a rotating element of an umbrella shape penetrates the upper sheet and is friction welded onto the lower sheet, resulting in a form and force closure joint between the two sheets.

Applications:

  • overlap sheet joints where the upper sheet is of non-iron metal

  • material combinations Al/Fe, Mg/Fe, etc.

  • suitable for automotive, aeronautic, astronautic and railway applications

Advantages:

  • very good strength (fatigue, peeling, tensile shear, etc.)

  • no joint preparation such as hole punching necessary

  • high reproducibility of process

  • short welding cycles

  • all advantages of friction welding also hold for FEW

Above a few results of an exemplary FEW process simulation are displayed. With the aid of the process simulation the element design and process parameters can be discussed in advance of experimental study. The simulation is able to calculate:

  • the contact pressure profiles between the element and the sheets

  • the clamp force between the sheets

  • the stir profile of the joint

  • frictional heat generation

  • temperature, pressure, stress and deformation profiles of arbitrary locations within the sheets and element

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