There’s virtually nothing that we can’t do when it comes to aluminium processing.
Friction stir welding as a key process:
It is particularly in the field of friction stir welding – FSW – that we make full use of our strengths. The procedure is a key production process at HAI, and it opens up lots of opportunities for connecting and combining materials while also ensuring a high-quality end result.
Technological leader in
Compared to conventional FSW jointing technology the simultaneous two-sided process design provides considerable advantages in terms of reduced production times. The reduction of non-productive time combined with the halving of actual welding time provides potential savings in relation to processes. The simultaneous two-sided process design also has a positive impact on the formation and distribution of residual stresses in welds. This leads to the reproducible achievement of fine surface roughness tolerances.
FSW – the process: Perfect connections thanks to frictional heat
A wear-resistant, rotating tool exerts pressure on the joint area. This generates the required process heat. The fastening of the component in place and a solid backing plate ensure that the horizontal and vertical process forces are absorbed.
The process can be used to join:
Possible types of weld: butt joint, overlap weld, T-joint, fillet weld
Combinations of materials:
- All aluminium alloys, including mixed compounds
- Different materials such as aluminium-magnesium, aluminium-copper or aluminium-steel joints
- Different production methods
- Castings with profiles
- Plates with profiles
- Different plate thicknesses (tailored blanks)
- Two-dimensional weld seams can be produced using the application variants shown
- Welding speeds: High speeds are typical of the process and contribute significantly to the cost-effectiveness of the method. Preconditions here are close tolerances at the joint, or optimised clamping conditions
The quality that you can expect:
- Level and practically notch-free surfaces
- No gas pores in the joint due to the low process temperature – no molten aluminium
- No hot cracks due to the exerted process forces
- Low distortion due to the low heat input
- High fatigue strength due to the low strain softening and practically notch-free surface
You can find further information about our friction stir welding range of services on the website of our Riftec subsidiary: riftec.de
We have perfected this in our company over a number of years now. Depending on the particular application that is involved we always find the right welding procedure – and economic factors play a big part in this.
Systems to choose from include:
MIG/TIG systems and the Fronius reduced-energy CMT procedure. We use the latter particularly in the case of thin-walled profiles in order to reduce deformations and losses of rigidity within the welded joint. MIG and CMT systems can also be used via welding robots.
However, in order for this to be possible, the following requirements must be met:
- Maximum component size: 2,400 x 1,400 mm
- Max. component weight: 500 kg
- Accessibility of the welded joint checked (simulation)
Of course the components that we manufacture can also be fitted with additional jointing elements such as rivets and press-in nuts. Riveting robots can do this in the case of large production runs. In the case of smaller quantities they are installed at manual workstations (via monitored riveting devices).
A large proportion of the profiles that are extruded by HAI are machined or prepared for the subsequent work steps as required by the customer. High-precision sawing (as required by the customer or as a preparatory work step) is performed on short, long or universal high-speed saws, on automatic saws or on double mitre saws.
In addition, all the common milling processes are used. We have 3-axis and 5-axis CNC milling machines – as upright millers or as pendulum milling machines. Components with the maximum dimensions (20,000 x 4,000 mm x 1,500 mm) can be milled on the Fooke aluminium machining centre. The milled parts are then cleaned in a washing machine to reliably remove impurities caused by the cooling lubricants. This reliably removes impurities caused by the coolants.
We employ the latest bending technologies – from stretch-bending to roll bending and press brake bending. It is predominantly automotive applications that require a preliminary forming process.
Whenever the quantity to be produced exceeds a critical size, only special machines can be used for production. These are designed for the specific demands of the products and are specialised to such an extent that very short production times can be achieved with minimum production costs. We have experienced partners who can assist us with planning and design.
The production of prototypes is always the first important step for us on the road to the series production order. Through the intensive assessment of the component, we are also able to submit successful series production quotes – at a time when geometric and process engineering optimisation is still possible.