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Technical Paper

Friction Stir Welding-A Revolutionary New Joining Method

Friction Stir Welding (FSW) can achieve high quality welds in aluminum alloys that are of interest to the aerospace industry (e.g. alloys 2014, 2219, 7050 and numerous aluminum-lithium alloys). The low distortion solid-phase welds exhibit metallurgical and mechanical properties, including fatigue, which are superior to conventional fusion welds achieved by arc processes. FSW, although a relatively new welding technique, has been systematically developed and proved by The Welding Institute (TWI) under contract to an international group of sponsors, one of which is The Boeing Company. To further validate the process, The Boeing Company conducted separate development activities including detailed mechanical testing of welds made from the FSW process.