Machine Design and Thermal Aspects of the Friction Welding Process

  • M. G. Kirkham
  • P. D. Smith
  • P. K. Wright


This paper describes the design of a low-cost friction welding device and a novel method for measuring temperatures at very short distances from the interface. The equipment has been developed as an attachment to a conventional lathe which is used to rotate one of the specimens. The other specimen is initially held stationary but released during the forging part of the welding cycle and allowed to acquire the speed of the driven end.

To determine the temperature at a particular distance from the rubbing interface a thermocouple has been securely clamped between the end of the stationary mild steel tube and a round mild steel shim. The thermocouple located at the back of the shim was thus a fixed distance from the interface and by using shims of differing thickness (0.15 to. 1.27 mm) the temperature gradient has been established. The machine has also been instrumented to continuously record changes in rubbing speed and torque. It has thus been possible to determine the heat generation rate and use conventional heat transfer equations to calculate the temperature gradient. There is good agreement between the calculated results and those from the thermocouple method. Tests have been carried out over a range of rubbing speeds (1–2 m.s-1) and pressures (20–60 MPa) and the work has demonstrated that suitable interfacial temperatures and sound welds may be achieved using the low-cost equipment.


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Copyright information

© Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. G. Kirkham
    • 1
  • P. D. Smith
    • 1
  • P. K. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of AucklandNew Zealand

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