For decades models have been developed for predicting the size of the weld nugget and heat affected zones in fusion welded structures. The basis for these models is the welding heat input, which is fairly well understood for most arc welding processes. However, this traditional approach is not as straightforward for Friction Stir Welding (FSW). To date, there is no definitive relationship to quantify the heat input for FSW. An important step to establish a heat input model is to identify how FSW process parameters affect weld power. This study details the relationship between FSW process parameters and torque for three different aluminum alloys: 7075, 5083 and 2024. A quantitative weld power and heat input model is created from the torque input. The heat input model shows that decreasing the spindle speed or increasing the feed rate significantly decreases the heat input at low feed rates. At high feed rates, feed rate and spindle speed have little effect on the heat input. Process parameter versus heat input trends are verified by measurements of the weld heat affected zones. In addition, this study outlines and validates the use of a variable spindle speed test for determining torque over a broad range of parameters. The variable spindle speed test provided significant improvements over previous methods of determining torque as this new method enabled the torque to be modeled over a broad range of parameters using a minimum number of welds. The methods described in this study can be easily used to develop torque models for different alloys and materials.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Friction Stir Welding, Aluminum, Heat Input, Al7075, Al2024, Al5189, spindle speed, torque, power