Effect of friction stir welding tool design on welding thermal efficiency

Hongjun Li, Jian Gao, Qinchuan Li, Alexander Galloway, Athanasios Toumpis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalScience and Technology of Welding and Joining
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2019


  • friction stir welding
  • heat transfer
  • FE model
  • heat insulation
  • FSW tool
  • welding thermal efficiency

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