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Friction Stir Welding

PAR Systems designs and develops friction stir welding (FSW) machines using I-STIR™ FSW technology–the most advanced friction stir welding technology on the market. Our FSW machines are built for our customers’ needs and allows them to take full advantage of FSW process benefits.

Take full advantage of Friction Stir Welding with I-STIR™ Systems

Friction stir welding offers:

  • Superior mechanical properties in the as-welded condition as compared to other joining technologies.
  • Minimal distortion of joined parts compared to other joining technologies due to welding at temperatures below the melting point.
  • Ability to easily weld joint geometries and complex curvatures.
  • Ability to weld materials less than 1mm and greater than 75mm thick in a single pass.
  • Welding of previously “un-weldable” alloys or dissimilar alloys.
  • Improved safety, easy automation, and lower setup costs.
  • Environmentally friendly and energy efficient–no filler material, shielding gas, or harmful emissions.

PAR’s FSW best-in-class technology:

  • Incorporates independent forge and/or pin actuators with five or more degrees of freedom.
  • Includes strategically incorporated sensors and a high fidelity data acquisition system that allows customers to achieve superior quality welds with the potential to eliminate post-weld inspection.
  • Includes 3 modes of FSW for maximum application flexibility (i.e., fixed-pin, adjustable-pin, and self-reacting).
  • Manages weld schedules, real-time execution, and data acquisition and storage production software.
  • Includes world-wide support with local field service engineers.

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What you need to know about friction stir welding

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid-state joining process that uses a rotating, non-consumable tool to generate frictional heat to join materials. Friction stir welding is a proven and advantageous technology in many industries including aerospace and defense. FSW is often chosen because of its superior weld quality, however, the speed of the welding process is increasingly becoming a valuable benefit.

There are many factors that will impact your friction stir weld including pin tool design, weld parameters and accuracy, spindle speed, part clamping. It is important to know what these factors are and consider them before finalizing the design of your friction stir welding equipment to achieve the best result. PAR will help you navigate these factors and build a solution right for you with our I-STIR™ FSW technology.

Manufacturing photo of a liquid oxygen tank after barrel.
Close up of friction stir weld on aluminum.

Why I-STIR™ Technology

PAR’s FSW machines in combination with our advanced control system allows customers to take full advantage of the process benefits while allowing the ability to deploy technology for large, complex applications.

PAR has highly-instrumented, high-fidelity solutions and a flexible control system tailored for process control and monitoring in a variety of motion systems. The combination makes PAR’s I-STIR the most advanced friction stir welding solution on the market.

Comprehensive development model

PAR has a deep understanding of complex FSW processes and FSW tooling. We employ an inter-organizational team approach and progressive three-phase program—process development and feasibility study, full development of requirements, and project build and execution—to put FSW into production as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The I-STIR phased program is based upon a best practices model developed through decades of producing complex, turnkey systems.

I-STIR friction stir welding on an aluminum tank.
Tool of Friction Stir Welding Machine

Unrivaled process control

Maintaining optimal pin position, especially in nonlinear applications, is critical to producing consistent, high-quality FSW joining. As a pioneer and leader in precision force and motion control, I-STIR technology incorporates innovative mechanical, electrical, and software systems to deliver unrivaled control over all aspects of friction stir welding processes.

Advanced FSW fixturing and tool design

I-STIR technology drives the state-of-the-art of FSW tooling with innovative pin tool and forge load control technologies. PAR has developed the ability to precisely control forge and pin loads in our design and control concepts for complex curvature.

Operator monitoring friction stir welding machine preparing to weld.
Friction stir welding machine.

Worldwide FSW Leadership

I-STIR technology plays a leading role in fostering the worldwide development of FSW through numerous collaborations with experts in friction stir welding industry, government, and academia including University of South Carolina, Lockheed Martin, and the Institute de Soudure.

We have also secured several U.S. patents of leading edge FSW technologies including self-reacting welding head, co-exclusive NASA license for adjustable pin tool, and independent forge actuator.

Framework of an electrical vehicle with lithium battery tray.

Electric Vehicle Battery Trays

Material selection and effective manufacturing processes is key in electric vehicle manufacturing. Friction stir welding is a superior process when working with aluminum battery trays. PAR’s FSW systems help EV manufacturing produce battery trays with lighter weight construction, high reliability, impenetrable moisture barrier, high load-bearing capacity, and low-warpage. FSW is a beneficial application for EV manufacturing due to FSW’s speed and ability to weld dissimilar alloys together.

High speed electric train.

Rail Car

PAR’s FSW technology is an excellent option for welding the main structure of bullet trains and passenger trains including floors, walls, ceilings, and doors as well as railway coupling. Like aerospace and EV, FSW lets rail manufacturers produce lighter weight rail cars and minimize the number of parts within the system. Additionally, FSW for rail lets manufacturers more easily join different types of material together and produces fewer points of failure than alternative welding applications, which reduces the changes of stripping and rusting.

Hermetically sealed containers in a heat exchanger application

Hermetically Sealed Containers

Although FSW provides multiple benefits to transportation manufacturing (including aerospace, EV, rail, and boats), friction stir processing is also extremely beneficial for the manufacturing of hermetically sealed containers such as heat exchangers and containers within life sciences and data storage manufacturing. Manufacturers can use FSW to create a gasket less seal with no point of egress. The results are impenetrable water- and air-tight seals.

Semi pulling flat bed trailer

Semi Truck Beds and Trailers

Friction stir welding is widely utilized in the construction of truck trailer equipment, alongside the long-standing popularity of extrusions. This joining process offers numerous commercial advantages in this application. By minimizing fusion welded and riveted seams, our manufacturing processes enable the elimination of corrosion and fatigue-prone areas at material joints, while also increasing load rating. Through our state-of-the-art joining process, PAR delivers superior products that not only enhance durability but also reduce the need for warranty repairs.

Rows of empty aluminum bleachers

Bleacher Seats

FSW enables the creation of strong and reliable welds, ensuring the structural integrity and stability of the bleacher seating. By joining different materials through FSW, such as aluminum alloys, bleachers can be constructed with lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant components. The efficient and precise nature of FSW contributes to cost savings and allows for the production of bleachers with reduced distortion and enhanced esthetics.

Aerial view of nuclear power plant

Nuclear Waste Storage

Friction stir welding is valuable in nuclear waste storage due to its numerous advantages. FSW constructs strong containers, ensuring structural integrity and preventing leakage or contamination. It joins dissimilar materials, enhancing container performance for corrosion resistance and radiation shielding. FSW creates hermetic seals, minimizing material escape and protecting against moisture or air infiltration. Additionally, FSW offers longevity and durability, enabling the storage system to withstand prolonged periods and environmental stresses, ensuring nuclear waste safety.

"PAR's solutions allow our customers to take full advantage of the friction stir welding joining process."

Jim F.

Chief Engineer, Friction Stir Welding