The study of the metallurgy of the interface of metal/metal friction-welded components is essential for understanding the quality of bonding. We have studied, through optical and electron microscopy, and tensile strength measurements, the bonding properties of Al and interstitial free steel and Al and stainless steel friction-welded components. The samples were produced by varying the friction time and rotational speed, friction pressure, upsetting pressure, and upsetting time constant at optimized values reported earlier. The bonding occurs over an intermetallic phase, which, when too thick, influences the bonding properties adversely. The thickness of the intermetallic interlayer depends linearly of on the square root of the friction time, indicating that the growth is caused by diffusion. The effect of oxidation on the bonding is also studied on samples prepared under argon atmosphere and normal atmosphere. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.