The key industrial drivers for this technology are to replace mass-adding fastening processes, such as riveting, and to join a range of dissimilar materials, which are currently difficult to join using fusion welding processes.
RFSSW has been primarily used to join heat treatable aluminium alloys and to join dissimilar material combinations, such as aluminium alloys to magnesium, steel, titanium and copper. Carbon fibre composites have also been joined.
The RFSSW process offers a number of advantages over current spot joining methods, especially for the joining of aluminium alloys. For example, RFSSW avoids many of the defects associated with melting and solidification of metals, owing to the material remaining in the solid-state; no filler material or third body is added to the weld, reducing component mass; No fumes, porosity or spatter are generated; and the process is easily automated, making it suitable for production.