Application Engineering Services
Discover how our application engineering services can save your business time and money.
Research & Development
Bayou Manufacturing supplies FSW research and application development services. These projects typically involve welding and various weld parameter settings to understand the capability of the FSW process. Depending on requirements, Bayou Manufacturing can perform the design of experiments (DOE) with the purpose of qualifying a production capable FSW process. These DOE typically involve varying the critical weld parameters (rotation speed, travel speed, welding force, tool design, etc.) over a variety of conditions. In addition, other production variables such as gap, mismatch, etc. are also included in the DOE to ensure a fully capable FSW process. The welds are then destructively tested (tensile test, bend tests, etc) and/or non-destructively inspected to determine the effect on the weld quality versus the various input parameters.
Because friction stir welding (FSW) requires different design criteria than traditional welding processes, it’s essential to consider the process during the design phase of the product. We can assist you with product design adaptations to make it possible to take advantage of friction stir welding. The result will be a production-ready process.
After the establishment of a robust Friction Stir Welding process, the next step is to apply the process to a prototype part. In many cases, these prototype parts require some fixture development. FSW requires robust fixturing to hold the parts in relative location during welding, due to the high forces involved with the process. Bayou Manufacturing will use as much existing fixturing as possible, but in most situations, some new fixturing will be required. Bayou Manufacturing designs and fabricates the fixturing for this purpose. Once the fixture is fabricated, prototype parts are fabricated. Depending on the application, these parts will be welded on one of our robotic FSW stations or our custom FSW equipment. Bayou Manufacturing can also supply other services related to prototype part fabrication, including, but not limited to machining, arc welding, coating, etc.
Process Development Friction stir welding is an emerging technology; therefore, in many cases, the early applications will be outside the experience base of the customer organization. This creates a risk for the customer. To manage this risk and allow the customer to evaluate the benefits of a proposed friction stir welding application, the Bayou Manufacturing team will perform a complete implementation analysis of the proposed application.
This analysis will include any or all of the following steps:
- Analyze part design and suggest improvements to optimize cost and process capability
- Identify and design proper fixturing concepts
- Complete any needed process development
- Complete any required robot simulation studies and e) develop a sound production cycle time and cost model
In addition to the implementation analysis, Bayou Manufacturing will use its own systems to validate the application with the production of development samples utilizing controlled variations in the process, materials and part design. In most cases, the customer is directing the effort with the end goal being the generation of friction stir welding samples, of actual or surrogate parts, for evaluation and testing.