British Made - Olympic Barbell // Behind the Barbell - Friction Welding

At Bulldog Gear we design, engineer and manufacture a wide range of British Made - Strength and Conditioning Products. With all those products, there is a significant amount of research and development that goes into fine-tuning them before they are ready for market.

Our British Made – Olympic Weight Lifting Barbell is due for release this coming spring ’17 and in the build up to its unveiling, we’re going to release a series of short videos and articles that will explain why buying British and buying Bulldog may be the best investment you make.

This first article looks at Friction Welding used in the production of our barbell sleeves…

Why did we decide to invest in friction welding?

There are a number of reasons, first and by far the most important being that the structural integrity of the weld is such that the sleeve and the collar on our barbells prior to friction welding are two separate components. By the time the process is complete, the bond is so strong that the final fused zone becomes stronger than either of the individual base materials. Consequently the collar would never come away from the barbell - crucial for great longevity of a premium product.

Many bar manufactures will press-fit the bar collar on to the sleeve. Whilst this is a quicker process, the fit can eventually come undone, especially if precise tolerances are not maintained, the bar is miss-used or if the bar is used in extremely hot environments or harsh conditions.

Besides the structural qualities, friction welding is an efficient and highly repeatable process. When producing in high volumes machining is quicker, easier and more accurate – although a costly development process, the longevity with this way of machining enables us to be more competitive on price against imported products where labour is less skilled, but cheaper.

Lastly, is from an environmental point of view - there is less waste. We have to machine less steel and throw away less swarf per component.

We also use the Friction welding process on our Rubber Hexagonal Dumbbells 2.0. This means the dumbbell heads will not come away from the shaft as commonly found with cheaper dumbbells that use a press-fit.

In summary the friction welding process gives us a great solution to a problematic part of the barbell, it let’s us have faster machining times and enables us to mass produce a great product at a highly competitive price - made from quality materials right here in the UK.

February 10, 2017 by Team Bulldog
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