FSW Project History



2011-2012 FSW Team Picture


 From left to right: Zach Oursler, Nathan Dix,
Cory Pheleps, Devin Peluso, Michael Stocklom.

The 2011-2012 FSW Design Team was the first to ever make a Friction Stir Weld on HPS70 and A1010 steel. This team also installed the new HFI system including power supply, cooling system, wiring, tubing, and coil mount.  This team also upgraded the controls to an automated closed loop control system that controlled the travel speed, down force, and HFI heating.  The system uses a Unitronics PLC that operates the stepper motors on X and Z axis, along with the HFI system. 



From left to right: Terrence Kelley, Chad McCallum, Zach Jones, David Ruga, Brian Ho, Emily
Atman, Buster Brown, Josh Hammond, Jeremy Walley, and Nathaniel Anderton. 
This year’s team is focused on creating a hybrid welding process that combines the benefits of both FSW and HFI. By adding HFI heating to FSW, a hybrid process is created that would extend the life of the tools being used. Two HF coils will be in the hybrid process. The leading coil plasticizes the material prior to the FSW tool. The trailing coil improves the post weld microstructure. Once the HFI plasticizes the steel, the frictional heat produced by the FSW tool is greatly reduced. To accommodate this, a concave tool was designed to produce frictional heat on the outside of the weld area and to prevent slipping during welding. A system will be implemented to allow for a gap at the start of the weld. This gap allows for the proximity effect to increase the efficiency of heating. This hybrid process will allow welding of HSS without the common problems of fusion welding. The development of this new process will revolutionize the use of FSW of HSS, HSLA steels, and Titanium alloys. 



From left to right: Riley Wyers, Nolan Miller, Buster Brown, Erik Troyer, Justin Boldt, Nolan
Bryant, Mark Taylor, Shane Webster, and Aaron McConnell. 

This year’s team sought to develop an effective way to utilize the FSW process on API x80 steel. However, the relativity high temperature needed to plasticize the steel reduces the life of the tool bit. The team attempted to solve this problem by recommending a HF system to preheat the material, thus reducing the strain on the tool used to plasticize the steel, and the development of a tool using a material that would withstand the high temperatures created by the friction between the tool and the base material.



From left to right: Mitch Plant, Ken Bean, Tim Shields, Brent Ludwig, Scott Grove, Devin Hartshorn, and Nolan Bryant. 

This is the year in which the project originated. This year’s team developed a process monitoring system for the FSW donated from EWI. This system integrated an IR camera, RPM monitor, and load cells. All the data was taken in with the help of a LabVIEW program created by the team. They also did several experiments with different types of pins to compare their effects.