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Friction Stir Welding Process
The friction-stir welding (FSW) process was invented and experimentally proven by Wayne Thomas and a team of his colleagues at The Welding Institute UK in December 1991. It is a solid-state joining process, meaning that, unlike fusion methods of joining, the metal is severely plastically deformed rather than melted.
To perform this process, there have been many different machines developed and built. The tools used also tend to vary in size and design, and many of the studies being conducted in this field focus specifically on what effect tool design will have on the material properties of metals that have been joined using this process.
The process itself is actually somewhat deceptively simple at its most basic. The parent materials are secured into the desired joint orientation, in this case a simple butt joint. The tool is then slowly plunged into the joint. The tool is then fed through the material along the joint until the end of the joint is reached. The tool can then be extracted.