One of the latest technologies found on the chassis of the new Gen 4 REV platform from Ski-Doo is the use of a NASA technology called “Friction Stir Welding”. This is the process by which Ski-Doo is attaching the cooler extrusion to the tunnel.
Instead of using tradition tungsten inert gas welding (TIG) or metal inert gas (MIG) welding (or piercing rivets, for that matter) to attach the cooling extrusion, BRP has implemented the new friction stir welding – a solid-state joining process which results in a very uniform weld that does not require filler wire melted into the joint. Temperature and weld wire properties cause a loss of material properties in the surrounding materials when using traditional TIG or MIG processes. There can be losses of 50 to 60 percent of the parent material. The friction stir welding blends two plates together at a very low temperature, caused by friction alone, and there is no filler weld wire required.
Friction stir welding (FSW) is capable of fabricating either butt or lap joints, in a wide range of materials thickness and lengths. During FSW, heat is generated by rubbing a non-consumable tool on the substrate intended for joining and by the deformation produced by passing a tool through the material being joined. The rotating tool creates volumetric heating, so as the tool is progressed, a continuous joint is created. FSW, like other types of friction welds, is largely solid state in nature. As a result, friction stir welds are not susceptible to solidification related defects that may hinder other fusion welding processes.