The Forge Bonding™ Process

Make repairs to storage tanks and other equipment with a metal joining process that eliminates hot work, bringing safety and tremendous cost and time savings to your facility.

The process is friction welding which was invented in the 1950’s and is used in many industries today.  But, friction welding machines are typically in the form of large floor standing equipment and not portable enough to bring to the customer site.

Since then, Forge Tech has made friction welding more commonplace for use on-site where traditional joining methods such as arc welding and other fusion methods are often not safe, such as above the liquid level on hydrocarbons storage tanks or other flammable environments.

Forge Tech branded their version of friction welding, “Forge Bonding™” which has been consistently demonstrated and documented within industry literature as a safe process for use on live pipelines and within identified hazardous or explosive environments, because it does not create a source of ignition.

More recent advancements in Forge Tech’s portable friction welding equipment design and joining methodologies has improved the strength and reliability of the process results, while lowering operating temperatures and thermal energy to improve safety. 

What’s Involved?

Forge Bonding™ is a solid-phase metal joining process that joins two metals through friction generated by mechanically induced motion between rubbing surfaces under pressure. 

The essential elements to this process are axial force, rotational speed, and durational cycle time.

The process involves holding the parts to be joined together under significant axial pressure, and then rotating one part against the other to generate friction at the junction or interface. 

When the right temperature is reached to soften and plasticize the metals enough to be joined, the rotational motion stops while the axial pressure remains during cooldown, joining the two surfaces together. 

This combination of physics results in a low temperature, high strength full-surface mechanical bond that is normally demonstrated to be free of voids and flaws.

How Does It Work? 

The above described mechanical process takes place in just a few seconds and is automatically controlled, which means that the results are not dependent on human craft skills typical of traditional welding methods.

The Forge Bonding™ process uses a machine and a controller to govern the factors that make the bond reliable and consistent. These are:

1. Regulating the rotational speed based upon the attributes of the materials to be joined, and the diameter of the material at the interface. 

2. Applying and maintaining the required axial pressure between the two parts to be joined, before, during and following rotation. 

3. Controlling the process time based on the attributes of the metals to be joined, as well as factoring in shape and size of surface area, which is typically just a matter of seconds. 

The entire process is automatic and the settings can be set according to what the materials being joined require. These settings are based on prior successful simulations, and a weld procedure specification (WPS) supported by a procedure qualification record (PQR).

All the welding operator has to do is set up the machine and press a button, and the automated process is automatically performed over a few seconds.

The process is pneumatically operated and non-electrical, with backup timers and emergency stop valves installed as a fail safe should the main timer fail.

A Safe Work Area

The Forge Bonding™ process produces no source of ignition and operates at a temperature well below the ignition temperature of most hydrocarbons found in refineries and chemical plants with a factor of safety of 2 or greater on the backside temperature.

The process is performed within a physically shielded inert process envelope as a redundant safety measure, completely separating the workspace from the external environment.

No sparks or flames are present during the Forge Bonding™ process, and the weld procedures and welding operators are all certified.

And since the fully automated process typically takes only a few seconds, the thermal energy produced is incredibly small, well controlled, and minimizes heat transfer to surrounding work surfaces.

Quality of the Bond

When completed bonds are analyzed under enhanced micro-examination, the bond area typically displays a defect free surface. 

And when these bonds are subjected to destructive testing, the bond is found to be stronger than the two materials being joined. The failure always occurs to the base material outside the bond area or in the stud.

Tested bonds consistently far exceed the test-strength requirements of ASME Section IX, Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code.

Forge Bonding™ is a safe, fully automated and reliable method for repairing tanks and other equipment without interrupting production.

Enhance the strength of your assets while making in-service repairs to save money and bring safety to your facility with the fully portable, Forge Bonding™ process.