An overview of R&D work in friction stir welding at SMU

Keywords: Friction stir welding (FSW), Thermo-mechanical modeling, Process monitoring, Acoustic emission (AE) signal processing, Joining of dissimilar metals.


Friction stir welding (FSW) is an innovative solid-state material joining method invented by The Welding Institute (TWI) in 1991 and has been one of the most significant joining technology developments in the last two decades. It has evolved into a process focused on joining arc weldable (5xxx and 6xxx) and unweldable (2xxx and 7xxx) aluminum alloys to a point where it can be implemented by the aerospace and automotive industries for their joining needs.Research towards the further extension of the process to join dissimilar metal combinations like Fe-Al and Al-Cu is currently underway. A few of the important advantages of FSW over conventional joining techniques include improved joint properties and performance, low-deformation of the workpieces, a significant reduction in production costs and the freeing of skilled labor for use in other tasks. Compared to the conventional arc-welding of aluminum alloys, FSW produces a smaller heat affected zone, and it also allows the successful joining of aluminum alloys, steel, titanium, and dissimilar alloys with a stronger joint.

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