Mazak's MegaStir Joining Technology Now Delivers 150 Times More Tool Life, Shorter ROI

As a pioneer in friction stir welding (FSW) technology, Mazak MegaStir recently developed 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.

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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.

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