Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

Last updated: December 27, 2013

What Does Friction Stir Welding (FSW) Mean?

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid-state welding process in which materials used for welding do not exceed their melting points.

In this process the heat generated during contact between the tool and substrate is used to weld the materials.


Corrosionpedia Explains Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

In the process of friction stir welding, a non-consumable spinning tool is forced onto a workpiece. The tool is subjected to downward force and rotation traverse to the weld direction. This contact creates frictional heat between the tool and weld materials, which causes the weld material to plastically deform. Due to temperature and mechanical pressure applied, these materials are joined, resulting in a solid bond.

Unlike other welding processes, this process does not utilize filler material or gases, and requires low energy input. The mechanical and metallurgical properties of the welded material are similar to the original material, as bonding is made by using only the parent material.

Factors that affect friction stir welding include:

  • Rotation and speed of tool
  • Tool depth
  • Welding forces
  • Material flow
  • Heat flow generation

Materials most suited for this process include:

  • Aluminum and its alloys
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Magnesium
  • Titanium

This process is applicable in various industries such as:

  • Shipbuilding and offshore
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Railway rolling stock
  • Fabrication

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