Choosing the Right Equipment for Traditional Friction Welding

Composition of Traditional Friction Welding Equipment

Friction welding is highly mechanized and the welding quality is greatly dependent on the equipment. It requires the equipment to have an appropriate spindle speed, a large enough spindle motor power, axial pressure, and clamping force.

The equipment should also have good coaxiality and high rigidity. Based on production needs, it should also be equipped with automatic feeding, unloading, and flash removal devices. Friction welding equipment usually consists of a host system, hydraulic system, control system, and auxiliary devices.

Host System

The host system, which comprises the spindle box, rotating and moving fixtures, sliding platform, force application hydraulic cylinder, and bed, is the main body of the friction welding machine.

Its function is to provide the welding piece with the process-specified rotational speed, torque, friction pressure, and upset pressure through the rotating and moving fixtures, ensuring dimensional accuracy and realizing fast forward and backward auxiliary movements of the sliding table. It is the executive mechanism of the welding system.

Hydraulic System

The hydraulic system mainly includes a hydraulic motor, hydraulic pump, oil tank, and hydraulic control circuit made up of various direction, pressure, and flow control valves.

Its function is to provide a hydraulic power source for the welding machine’s action mechanisms (spindle clutch, brake, rotating fixture, moving fixture) and force application system (force application oil cylinder) to ensure sufficient lubrication of the spindle rotation and sliding table motion components.

Control System

The control system can be divided into a strong electric control system and a weak electric control system based on the control object. The strong electric control system mainly controls the drive motor, hydraulic system motor, and other high-voltage parts through an air switch, clutch, Y-Δ converter, etc.

The weak electric control system controls the welding signal sequence and the simulation quantity based on the set welding program and trigger signal during the welding process, through controlling the hydraulic system’s solenoid valves and the strong electric system’s clutch.

Depending on the control target requirements and the strength of control functions, the weak electric control system can be divided into relay control systems, programmable control systems, microcontroller measurement and control systems, industrial computer measurement and control systems, and PLC + industrial computer (or microcontroller) dual-stage measurement and control systems.

Auxiliary Devices

Friction welding machines can be equipped with automatic feeding, unloading, automatic flash removal, and on-machine quenching devices based on the degree of automation required during the welding process. The image in Figure 4-12 is of an MCH-80A continuous drive friction welding machine.

Choosing a Friction Welding Machine

The friction welding machine can be selected based on the material, cross-sectional shape and size of the weldment, equipment features, and production volume.Currently, continuous drive friction welding machines and inertia friction welding machines are mainly used both domestically and abroad.

Domestic continuous drive friction welding machines are the most widely used, accounting for over 90% of all friction welding machines. Inertia friction welding machines are mainly used for welding large cross-section workpieces, dissimilar metals, and special parts. Regular continuous friction welding machines are suitable for welding round cross-section workpieces.

For larger cross-section workpieces, medium to large machines can be chosen, and for smaller cross-section workpieces, small or micro machines can be chosen. Specialized machines have a high degree of automation and productivity and can be used for mass production.

Apart from general friction welding machines, China also produces various specialized friction welding machines, such as oil drill rod friction welding machines, submersible pump shaft friction welding machines, thrust bearing automatic friction welding machines, internal combustion engine exhaust valve automatic friction welding machines, internal combustion engine turbocharger turbine shaft friction welding machines, twist drill bit friction welding machines, etc.

Table 4-3 and Table 4-4 respectively list some models and technical parameters of continuous drive friction welding machines and hybrid friction welding machines. Table 4-5 lists some models and technical parameters of inertia friction welding machines.

Table 4-3 Models and Technical Parameters of Some Continuous Drive Friction Welding Machines

Product ModelsKey Technical Parameters
Upsetting Force
Welding Diameter
Rotary Fixture Clamping Weld Length
Moving Fixture Clamping Weld Length
Rotation Speed
MCH-232015 ~5060 ~450120130037
MCH-420~404~1620~300100 ~500250011
MCH-20B20010 ~3550~30080~450180018.5
MCH-6363035 ~ 65100~380250~1400120055
C-0.5A54 ~6.56000
C-2.5D256.5 ~103000
C-4D408 ~ 142500
C-4C408 ~142500
C-12A-312010 ~301000
C-2020012 ~342000
RS4545020 ~701500
① A, B, C, D represent the model numbers.

Table 4-4: Technical Parameters and Model Numbers for Certain Hybrid Friction Welding Machines

Welding SpecificationsModelHAMM- (Axial Thrust/kN)
Maximum Welding Diameter for Low Carbon Steel/mmHollow Tube20×438 ×443 ×575 ×690 ×10110 ×10140 ×16
Solid Rod18253045558095
Length of the Welded Part/mmRotating Clamp50 ~ 14055 ~20050~20050~30050 ~30080 ~300100 ~500
Mobile Clamp100~500Greater than 100Greater than 100Greater than 100Greater than 120Greater than 300Greater than 200

Table 4-5: Model and Technical Parameters of Some Inertia Friction Welding Machines

ModelMax Speed
/ (r/min)
Max Rotational Inertia
/ (kg·m²)
Max Welding Force
/ kN
Max Tube Weld Seam Area
/ mm²

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