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Effect of friction stir welding tool design on welding thermal efficiency

Li, Hongjun and Gao, Jian and Li, Qinchuan and Galloway, Alexander and Toumpis, Athanasios (2019) Effect of friction stir welding tool design on welding thermal efficiency. Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, 24 (2). pp. 156-162. ISSN 1362-1718

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    Abstract

    Enhancing the heat transfer to the material being welded, instead of the tool, will improve the welding thermal efficiency. Friction stir welding of 5 mm thick 6061-T6 aluminium alloy plates was carried out with the newly produced tools. It was found that the thermal efficiency increased by 4.2% using a tool with all the new design features (i.e. hollow, fluted and thermally insulated) compared to the conventional tool for aluminium welding. To assess the benefits of the new tool design on steel FSW, a finite element numerical simulation study was undertaken. In this case, the simulation results yielded a welding thermal efficiency increase of 10-15% using a thermally coated tool, thereby offering potential productivity gains.