A novel approach for the detection of geometric- and weight-related FSW tool wear using stripe light projection

Friction stir welding (FSW) has become an up-and-coming joining method with a wide range of industrial applications. Besides the unique weld seam properties, recent investigations have focused on the process-related tool wear of shoulder and probe, which can have detrimental economic and technological effects. This paper presents a systematic quantitative characterization of FSW tool wear using stripe light projection as a novel method to detect weight and form deviations of shoulder and probe. The investigations were carried out with a robotic welding setup in which AA-6060 T66 sheets, with a thickness of 8 mm, were joined by weld seams up to a total length of 80 m. During the experimental tests, geometrical deviations of the tool induced by wear were detected for varying weld seam lengths and different measuring points on the probe and shoulder. It was shown that wear depended on welding length which in turn caused significant deviations and weight losses on shoulder and probe. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the wear on shoulder and probe can be considered separately. It was found that there is a progressive wear rate on the shoulder and a degressive wear rate on the probe depending on the weld seam length. To demonstrate the negative impact of tool wear on shoulder and probe after 80 m weld seam length, visual and metallographic inspections and tensile tests were carried out to detect resultant irregularities in the weld seam.


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