Car manufacturers are always looking to reduce vehicle weight and thereby improve fuel economy. Toward that end, automotive giant Honda has developed a new technology for the continuous welding of steel and aluminum.
They call it Friction Stir Welding (FSW), a solid-state joining process in which two metals can be intermixed using mechanical pressure. The resulting weld strength will be equal to or better than conventional MIG welding.
Honda expects this technology to cut body weight by 25% compared to a conventional steel sub-frame, but you won't be using this technology any time soon in your garage shop. Conventionally, FSW requires the use of large equipment, but Honda has developed an FSW continuous welding system applied to a highly versatile industrial robot.
Honda plans to first adopt the technology to the North American version of its 2013 Accord before expanding to other models.
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