Friction Stir Spot Welding for Structural Aluminum Sheets
The Friction Stir Spot Welding (FSSW) process is a derivative of the friction stir welding (FSW) process, without lateral movement of the tool during the welding process. It has been applied in the production of aluminum joining for various Mazda and Toyota vehicles. Most of the applications and published studies were concentrated in aluminum sheet in the range of 1.0 to 1.5 mm, suitable for non-structural automotive closure applications. The objective of this study is to study the feasibility of FSSW process for automotive structural aluminum joining, up to 3 mm in thickness, for potentially replacement of self-piercing rivets (SPR) process. Joining thicker aluminum with FSSW tooling with a typical smooth concave shoulder and threaded probing pin, requires long process time, which would not be appropriate in mass-production automotive body construction. In this paper, an innovative FSSW tool with grooved shoulder was developed.