Advances in friction stir welding by separate control of shoulder and probe

Friction stir welding (FSW) has developed into a reliable and increasing used industrial joining technology. Various tool configurations can be used for FSW, each of which has advantages and challenges. State-of-the-art FSW employs various tool configurations, including the conventional, the stationary shoulder, and the dual-rotational configuration which is characterized by separate control of shoulder and probe. In this study, an innovative method to combine various tool configurations was developed by a novel FSW spindle stack construction. With an additional servomotor, existing FSW systems can be extended by separate control of shoulder and probe so that varying rotational speeds and rotational directions can be set. This allows enhanced possibilities (a) to adjust frictional heat generation and (b) to apply several tool configurations. The main advantages of this enhanced type of FSW are demonstrated in three ways: increased weld penetration depth, reduction of undesirable machine vibrations, and the combination of varying tool configurations such as stationary shoulder and conventional FSW. The investigations were carried out with 2-mm EN AA 5754 H22 sheets and performed on a robotized FSW setup.


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