Friction Stir Processes (FSP)

What is FSP? During this metal fabrication method, a CNC-controlled bit-like tool is slowly plunged into a metal plate while rotating quickly. The local metal is heated by the rotational friction between the tool and stationary plate and reaches a temperature 10-25% below the metal’s melting point and reaches a state of plasticity. A concentric pin feature at the end of the rotating tool stirs the softened metal to form a weld joint between two metal pieces or mixes additive compounds into the base metal to alter metallurgical properties.

Benefits

  • Superior metallurgical properties
  • Less detrimental heat affects
  • Less energy use than fusion welding

Applications

  • Joining of dissimilar alloys
  • Metal matrix surface treatments
  • Aluminum friction stir weld joints stronger than fusion weld joints

Our FSP R&D Services

  • Process parameter optimization for your product
  • Prototype fabrication
  • FSP tool design and development
  • Development of metal matrix surface techniques
  • Fixture design and construction
  • Low volume production
  • Repair fusion weld flaws

Our Successes

Bimetallic Aluminum/Steel Joint

Focus: HOPE Industries was the first to develop a patent-pending process to metallurgically join aluminum alloy to high hardness steel (500 HB) using the friction stir process. During strength tests the material fails in the heat affected zone of the aluminum, not at the joint interface. This accomplishment offers a new avenue for weight reduction methods and creates new possibilities for multi-metal structures and joined assemblies.

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