As recent discoveries and technological advancements have made welding more sophisticated, it has evolved in numerous ways over time. While the act of processing metals in this way is an ancient practice, it is still used today. Currently, there are six major types of welding methods used in the aviation realm alone, all of which are generally employed by professional welding technicians to fix aeronautical components. In this blog, we will outline each of these six welding types and their applications.
Friction Welding (FRW) involves joining metals after deforming them. As the metals are not fully melted, their properties are not significantly impacted by FRW. The end-product consists of a joint metal that is as robust as the base material. In general, FRW is utilized to join components that feature simple cross-sections, usually circular in design. These are often components involved in the turbine shaft and case. However, FRW can also be used to join aluminum landing gear components.
Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a solid -state process utilized to combine metals via mechanical deformation similar to FRW. In this process, a specialized tool is plunged into the joint line between the plate materials to join them together. Advancements in FSW procedures have made it possible to weld aluminum alloys like 7xxx and 2xxx series. Furthermore, it is better than traditional arc welding because it creates welds that are 40-50% stronger.
Flash Welding (FW) involves melting and joining processes in addition to the application of pressure and a butt joint to weld a short arc. One of the main benefits of FW is that the end product is as strong as the base material.
Resistance Spot Welding (RSW) uses the resistance produced by heat to join metal sheets together and is frequently utilized in the automotive industry.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is popular all over the world, but is not ideal for aeronautic applications because of the massive heat source it generates, resulting in poor mechanical properties. As such, it is used for the various parts of missiles.
Laser Beam Welding (LBW) is often used alongside electron beam welding, and it provides components that display better performance, greater accuracy, and higher quality. That being said, LBW is used for jet engine components composed of heat-resistant alloys.
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