Friction Processes

We leverage our unique friction welding and friction stir welding expertise and numerous patented innovations to provide EWI customers with solid-state, low-distortion solutions to efficiently join “unweldable” and dissimilar materials without compromising material properties.

EWI’s friction processes group provides industrial support through research and process development of all friction welding processes.

These include traditional friction welding in which parts are moved relative to one another under pressure to generate heat and apply a forging force, and friction stir processes which use a non-consumable tool to generate the frictional heating between the workpieces.

Friction Stir Weld Screenshot
Friction Stir Welding

There are a variety of specific processes under each of these families.They include:

  • Friction Welding:
    • Linear Friction Welding (LFW)
    • Spin Welding:
      • Direct-Drive
      • Inertia
  • Friction Stir Welding:
    • Traditional Friction Stir Welding (FSW)
    • Friction Stir Spot Welding (FSSW)

These solid-state welding processes offer many advantages. These include lower distortion, the ability to weld dissimilar material combinations, and the ability to weld materials previously considered un-weldable. EWI has conducted extensive research over the past decade in each of these avenues. That research has enabled FSW of high-melting temperature materials, such as steel, titanium, and nickel alloys, and dissimilar metal joining through traditional friction welding.

EWI’s friction processes group has the broadest range of equipment capability and expertise concentrated in a single location in the western hemisphere. Our friction welding expertise encompasses a wide span of material combinations and geometries, and is applied in every industry sector.

Technical Expertise

  • Joint Design
  • Feasibility Assessments
  • Parameter Development
  • Procedure development
  • Mechanical property characterization
  • Optical and electron microscope
  • Failure analysis


  • Friction Welding:
    • CAT-250 Inertia Welder
    • MTI Model 120 Inertia Welder
    • Newcor 620 Direct Drive Friction Welder
    • R1004 RamStud machine
    • HR2500 RamStud portable friction welder
  • Friction Stir Welding:
    • GTC AccuStir FSW Machine
    • Harms-Wende FS Spot Welder
    • Proprietary Design EWI FSW
  • Successful joining of dissimilar metals through a variety of friction processes, including:
    • Aluminum-to-steel friction welding—linear and spin welding, for use in a variety of industries
    • Aluminum-to–steel friction stir welding—linear and friction stir spot welding (FSSW), primarily for use in automotive applications
  • New technique developed for additively manufacturing through FSW build-ups, focused on non-fusion-weldable alloys.
  • Assisted the Princeton Particle Physics Lab with the construction of central conductors for the Next Generation Toroid Fusion reactor by using FSW to join 1.5-in thick copper flags to copper extrusions.
  • Significant contributions to FSW process knowledge including improvement of FSW tool wear resistance for hard metals, identification of methods for reducing fixture costs, and creation of new friction stir processing techniques to achieve desired mechanical properties.
  • Developed multiple FSW applications for industry including:
    • Titanium mine blast tubs
    • Aerospace structures
    • Panels for the shipping, railway, and trucking industry
    • Circumferential and seam welding of oil and gas structures
    • Automotive and light manufacturing components
    • Fabrication of military vehicles and other structures
  • Invented EWI DuraStir® and EWI DuraStir® for FSW of hard metals. These proprietary tools are used to weld hard metals such as steels, titanium, and nickel-based alloys using FSW. EWI DuraStir tools are used in the aerospace, heavy manufacturing, oil and gas, nuclear, military and construction equipment industries. Please contact Rhenium Alloys or MegaStir for tool sales.

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