Process Parameter Development and Fixturing Issues for Friction Stir Welding of Aluminum Beam Assemblies 2005-01-3333
Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is being developed as a rivet and resistance spot welding replacement technology for aerospace and aircraft structures. While the FSW process is at a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and is being implemented on selected DOD and NASA hardware components, it has not seen extensive application due to limitations in the understanding of the design constraints and fixturing issues associated with a producible design. This paper describes the preferred FSW joint types and designs for beam structures which facilitate production implementation. The effects of fixturing and tooling on the FSW process development needs and resultant joint properties are discussed along with examples of fixturing and tooling approaches for fabrication of aluminum stiffened beam assemblies.