Orbital friction welding is similar to rotary friction welding but both welded parts are rotated in the same direction and at the same speed, but with their axes offset by up to 3mm (Fig. 1). At the end of a weld the relative movement is ended by returning both parts to the common axis of the machine and the welding force is maintained or increased.
For continuous drive rotary friction welding the surface velocity increases from the centre of the contact area to its outside edge, however, orbital friction welding has the benefit of a uniform surface velocity over the whole contact area. It is possible to join non-round components and a number of separate parts in one friction weld sequence. Although it has been demonstrated for many materials and joint configurations, there are few industrial users.
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