7 Most Common Welding Methods to Join Aeronautical Components

The aerospace sector is a demanding, innovative, and fast-paced industry. It  relies on some of the most advanced and complex components to ensure that everything works seamlessly. 

There are many different ways to join different types of metals. Not all of them will suit a specific kind of application. This article will look at common welding processes used in aeronautics and what works best in certain conditions and materials.

Friction Welding (FRW)

Friction welding (FRW) is a joining method that uses an applied load to join two or more components. The friction weld combines friction, pressure, and heat to produce a strong welded joint.

It can be used on almost any metal alloy, including aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, steels, and stainless steels. Moreover, it’s applicable to some nonferrous materials such as copper-based components like magnesium or cobalt-based superalloys. 

Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

Friction stir welding is a solid-state joining process that uses friction to generate heat and takes about two minutes to complete. Then the materials being joined through friction stir weld are pressed together and heated until they bond. 

Friction stir welding joins dissimilar materials, such as aluminum, titanium, and nickel alloys, with a high strength-to-weight ratio and low flexibility. Due to its low heat input, you can also use this for joining thin sections of metals or high carbon steels without post-weld heat treatment (PWHT).

Flash Welding (FW)

Flash welding is a method of joining sheet metal components by passing them through rollers. The rollers are heated and pressed together to form the flash weld. These can be heated by gas flame, electricity, or friction.

Resistance Spot Welding (RSW)

The process of joining two materials by melting the base metal with an electric arc is called resistance spot welding. The base metal is melted by a consumable electrode made of materials that dissolves at a lower temperature than the base metal. 

A gas shield during resistance spot weld keeps the molten puddle of base metal in place, preventing it from oxidizing. A flux coating on the electrode also prevents oxidation. If professional welders do not use enough flux, this can cause hot spots to form and cause porosity defects in the welded joint.

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Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

This welding process uses a constant current power source to supply energy to an electrode. The electrode is melted by the heat generated by the arc melting the base metal and fusing the parts. 

GMAW is the most commonly used arc welding process because it’s quick and inexpensive. It’s also easy for gas metal arc welders because they don’t have to keep track of multiple settings while learning how to control their welds during different projects.

Laser Beam Welding (LBW)

As the name suggests, laser beam welding uses a laser beam to join materials. It can produce high-quality welds without any filler material, which means less weight for the plane and less time spent repairing damaged parts.

Diffusion Welding (DFW)

The joining occurs molecularly rather than at the surface, as welding or brazing would. This results in a stronger bond than either of those processes would produce alone.

The process is similar to soldering but with less dependence on mechanical pressure. The material is held together with bolts, clamps, or fixtures while it cools. 

Different Welding Methods for Every Aeronautic Welding Needs

A wide spectrum of materials specific to aeronautical applications has complex characteristics. Thus, the welding process for different parts of aircraft must be carried out using various methods.

At Knisley Welding, our professional welders are experts at their craft and have years of experience doing this kind of work. If you need a reliable aircraft exhaust service, contact us today via email at or call us at (800) 522-6990 (toll-free).