Friction Stir Form Welding of Aluminum Tubes


The objective of the present study was to establish the feasibility of friction stir welding (FSW) rectangular aluminum tubes. Partial penetration welds were made for 6063 Al tubes having rectangular cross sections. FSW runs were made on a conventional machine as well as on a robotic machine. A comparative study of tool plunge force variation was made between unsupported and plug-supported welds. Effect of penetration depth (PD) was also examined for both weld categories. Multiple weld cross sections were taken across the weld length to correlate the exerted plunge force with the resulting tube deformation. Also, the effect of paint-bake cycle was studied on the load bearing capability of the welds. Unsupported welds exhibited higher load bearing capability than plug-supported welds. Optimum heat input required for the weld was quantified by developing a process map. This was done for unsupported welds on a robotic welding machine. The unsupported weld was used as it was better than plug-supported weld. Runs made on the robotic machine were more uniform with respect to their load bearing capabilities. A discussion on the failure mode for the two different weld types is included. Overall joint efficiency was higher for the paint bake condition. A penetration depth of 56% gave higher failure loads as compared to specimens made with 67% penetration depth.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Plug Supported; Process Map; Unsupported Weld

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2009 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2009

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