Mazak's MegaStir joining technology showcased at Fabtech

Published
August 03, 2023 - 10:00am
friction stir welding

As a pioneer in friction stir welding technology, Mazak MegaStir will display some of its latest developments for that advanced joining process at Fabtech in the Mazak Optonics booth A3502.

Among those developments are the company’s dynamic and intelligent FSW toolholders and its recently released line of diamond FSW tool tips. Dynamic holders support older legacy machines, while intelligent holders provide connectivity for process feedback, and the diamond tipped tools enhance FSW performance and extend tool life.

All are for use in HYBRID Multi-Tasking machine operations that combine subtractive processes with that of FSW assembly/joining.

This hybrid platform provides the ability to join assembly components on the same machine with the same operator and consolidates factory floor footprints while decreasing capital expenditures. 

For the Mazak MegaStir process, an intelligent FSW tool holder is pulled – via a normal tool change cycle – from the tool magazine of a Mazak vertical or horizontal machining center to perform FSW operations.

The tool holder collects temperature, Z-axis load data and other information to enable operators to manage the FSW process. FSW software available through Mazak’s MAZATROL Smooth CNC allows real-time monitoring of FSW’s three main processes – plunging, traversing and extracting. 

For older machines, Mazak MegaStir developed its dynamic FSW tool holder. While the holder is manual and does not connect to the machine CNC, it does allow shops to reap all the benefits of adding FSW capability to conventional subtractive machine tools.

Designed specifically for joining aluminum alloys, Mazak MegaStir-patented ultra-hard diamond tipped FSW pin tools deliver higher performance, longer tool life and superior weld quality. With the strength of polycrystalline diamond, the tools provide effective thermal conductivity for improved weld surface finishes and allow for higher spindle speeds that boost FSW productivity rates.

Key benefits include up to 150 times more tool life, lower operating costs and shorter ROI. The tips are available in standard and customized versions and are thermocouple ready.

Related Glossary Terms

  • alloys

    alloys

    Substances having metallic properties and being composed of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is a metal.

  • aluminum alloys

    aluminum alloys

    Aluminum containing specified quantities of alloying elements added to obtain the necessary mechanical and physical properties. Aluminum alloys are divided into two categories: wrought compositions and casting compositions. Some compositions may contain up to 10 alloying elements, but only one or two are the main alloying elements, such as copper, manganese, silicon, magnesium, zinc or tin.

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • machining center

    machining center

    CNC machine tool capable of drilling, reaming, tapping, milling and boring. Normally comes with an automatic toolchanger. See automatic toolchanger.

  • polycrystalline diamond ( PCD)

    polycrystalline diamond ( PCD)

    Cutting tool material consisting of natural or synthetic diamond crystals bonded together under high pressure at elevated temperatures. PCD is available as a tip brazed to a carbide insert carrier. Used for machining nonferrous alloys and nonmetallic materials at high cutting speeds.

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