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FSW Production

FSW Tools

Machining

Prototyping

Research and Development

Other Services

Friction Stir Link, Inc.

(FSL) provides a variety of services, all related around the commercialization of the friction stir processing technology. For those customers wanting to understand the capabilities of the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process, FSL can provide research and application development services and prototyping capability. For those interested in FSW fabrication, FSL is a full service manufacturing supplier with an emphasis on friction stir welding and its variants. FSL also supplies other manufacturing services involved in production applications including, arc welding, machining, drilling, and painting, etc. To complete the production implementation, FSL has a variety of capabilities including engineering and project management. And to ensure a quality product, FSL has developed a quality control system and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

FSW Production

Friction Stir Link, Inc. is a full service supplier of low to moderate volume, FSW intensive, production applications. We serve as the most capable source, assuring you both the best processing and competitive costs. Friction Stir Link, Inc. can also provide additional supplemental fabrication services to facility the process. As part of the component fabrication we also design and fabricate weld fixtures and equipment.

Friction Stir Link has both robotic FSW machines and custom engineered machines for a variety of applications. The robotic machines are excellent for small parts to very large parts, where multiple welds are required. In addition they are used for multi dimensional welding applications. The custom engineered FSW machines are used for welding sheets or extrusions. They are also used for applications requiring higher welding forces (aluminum alloy 5xxx series, 7xxx series, etc.). The machine is fabricated in sections, allowing for any length welding and portability.

To supply a finished product, Friction Stir Link, Inc. also provides other fabrication services, including machining, gas metal arc welding, drilling, and coating. These other services are performed manually or in an automated fashion, depending upon requirements of the specific project. FSL also provides the equipment and fixture engineering, as the project requires.

To ensure a consistent product, FSL has a quality system in place. Quality control plans are developed for each specific application and includes destructive and non-destructive testing and inspection. Friction Stir Link, Inc. has cross-sectioning equipment tensile testing, and bend testing equipment for destructive testing purposes. Friction Stir Link, Inc. has several certified welding inspectors (CWI) is ABS and ISO 9001:2008 certified.

FSW Tools

Friction Stir Link is a full service provider of friction stir welding, friction stir processing, and friction stir spot welding tools. FSL will provide tools inclusive of material procurement, machining, heat treating, and coating. FSL has a large catalog of available tools designs that can manage a wide range of thicknesses and materials to be welded. These tools can be inserted into almost any type of tool holding device. FSL can also fabricate the friction stir tools from a variety of tool materials to suit your application. For custom applications, FSL can engineer specific tool designs to the customer’s unique requirements.


Machining

Friction Stir Link, Inc. has a variety of machining solutions from robotic based machines to traditional CNCs to manual milling machines. These machining stations are used for fixturing components, prototyping, and production applications. FSL’s CNC equipment includes a variety of Haas 3 axis machines and lathes.

Prototyping

After establishment of a robust FSW process, the next step is to apply the process to a prototype part. In many cases, these prototype parts require some fixture development. FSW requires robust fixturing to hold the parts in relative location during welding, due to the high forces involved with the process. Friction Stir Link will use as much existing fixturing as possible, but in most situations some new fixturing will be required. FSL designs and fabricates the fixturing for this purpose. Once the fixture is fabricated, prototype parts are fabricated. Depending on the application, these parts will be welded on one of our robotic FSW stations or our custom FSW equipment. FSL can also supply other services related to prototype part fabrication, including, but not limited to machining, arc welding, coating, etc.

Research and Application Development

For customers who are new to the friction stir welding (FSW) technology and/or want to understand the capabilities of the FSW process, FSL supplies FSW research and application development services. These projects typically involve welding and various weld parameter settings to understand the capability of the FSW process. Depending on requirements, FSL can perform design of experiments (DOE) with the purpose of qualifying a production capable FSW process. These DOE typically involve varying the critical weld parameters (rotation speed, travel speed, welding force, tool design etc.) over a variety of conditions. In addition, other production variables such as gap, mismatch, etc. are also included in the DOE to ensure a fully capable FSW process. The welds are then destructively tested (tensile test, bend tests, etc) and/or non-destructively inspected to determine the effect on the weld quality versus the various input parameters.

UW - Madison STTR Team

Because friction stir welding (FSW) requires different design criteria than traditional welding processes, it’s essential to consider the process during the design phase of the product. We can assist you with product design changes that make it possible to take advantage of friction stir welding. After your design is complete, we can supply welded prototypes.

Other Manufacturing Services (Arc Welding, Machining, etc.)

FSL - Other Manufacturing Services

To complete your product, Friction Stir Link also provides other manufacturing services. Many applications require machining and drilling, while others require traditional welding processes. FSL has background in each of these areas and can apply this expertise to provide a product that fully meets your needs. These other processes can be performed automatically or manually depending on the requirements of your product.