In this work, friction stir welding (FSW) of 3.18 mm thick AA6061-T6 sheets in the butt- and lap-joint configuration was investigated with the objective of industrializing the process using low-cost serial industrial robots. The influence of weld pitch on the welding defects, microstructure, hardness, and bend performance of butt and lap welds was examined to identify process operational windows for both joint types. In parallel with these trials, a methodology based on kinetostatic analysis was developed to identify and evaluate viable robotized scenarios for FSW. On the basis of the experimental FSW process development results, this methodology was then applied to identify optimized FSW scenarios for the fabrication of large integrated AA6061 structural components with stringer-to-skin and skin-to-skin joints. Candidate workcell layouts are also presented.
Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal60, no. 3 (8 April 2015): 70–81.