Forging Alternative Sourcing Solutions

Welded Blank
Friction welding is a reliable, cost-effective alternative to low-volume forgings, especially when your welding projects require rapid turnaround times. Forging industry dynamics over the last few years have left many customers with lengthy lead times for parts, And these lead times are continuing to expand. American Friction Welding offers you the flexibility of smaller runs – with minimal tooling. Delivery time is a few weeks versus the long lead times of forging, which can be measured in months.

Friction Welding Video

Compare to Cutting Bar Stock

Bi-Metal Shaft Friction Welded

Turn-Key and Finished-to-Print

Our full service shop with CNC lathes and milling gives customers the opportunity to place a single-vendor order to have their materials manufactured to their print specs – right down to the final finished assembly. Turn-Key solutions include material procurement by AFW.

Turning

We have a variety of CNC lathes, tracer lathes, and chuckers. Our turning equipment can also run very economically for orders of specific size and quantities. At AFW, we can turn very small parts or parts up to 3-1/2 ft (42″) in diameter and 13 ft long. Our long lathe beds range between 80″ and 156″; thus our experience as specialists in shafting, rollers, pins and hydraulic components.

Milling

Horizontal milling machines and vertical milling machines range from Bridgeport knee-mills to our largest CNC milling machine with an envelope of 240″x79″x39″. Our diversity of skill and experience includes machining complex castings, plate stock, large forgings and shafts. Many machines have a palletized system or shuttle transfer system for maximum productivity. Most machines come with a rotary table, adding a 4th axis. Angle head tooling can be added for a 5th axis.

Friction Welding as an Alternative to Brazing

When welding integrity is important, friction welding is an excellent alternative to brazing.

Friction Welding is classified as a solid-state welding process that generates heat through mechanical friction between a moving workpiece and a stationary component.

Brazing Welding is a metal-joining process whereby a filler metal is heated above and distributed between two or more close-fitting parts by capillary action.

The most notable difference between these two processes is that brazing welding requires a filler metal, and friction welding does not need any fillers.

Also, brazing creates two points where materials can be displaced: between the inserted filler material and each of the pieces being fused. In friction welding, the two materials are joined directly (without any added filler) and therefore the finished piece has only one point where displacement could occur.

Disadvantages to Brazing:

  • Gap joint thickness
  • Pre-heat temperatures
  • Braze alloy temperature
  • Time
  • Thickness
  • Fluxes
  • Gasses
  • Setting times
AFW Infographic 3 Impeller

Click to see savings potential

By using friction welding, brazing’s inherent fusing integrity variables are eliminated. Any inherent oxides are pushed out through the weld flash and can be machined off providing superior welds without porosity.

As an alternative to brazing, good applications for friction welding include small bar-to-bar welds .050″ to .250″ in diameter.

Recently, an AFW application involved welding electrodes for electrical equipment. Friction welding can be applicable for many electrical contractor applications for OEMs, such as consumable resistance welding tips.

Process Analysis (Kanban)

Kanban is a concept related to lean and just-in-time (JIT) production. Kanban systems work on the basis that each process on a production line will pull only the required components – just prior to when they’re needed: delivering the right parts (and the right number of parts) at the right time.

AFW’s on-site warehouse and complete kanban program create a full cycle that enables our team to accurately quote delivery times and costs.

Since initiating our kanban process analysis, we’re consistently meeting customer needs and standards, and our customers are receiving shorter lead times. This is one more enhancement to your best sourcing solutions for friction welding services.

Onsite Warehouse Sourcing Solutions

Product Staged For Just-In-Time Shipment