Friction stir welding is a method of materials processing that enables the joining of similar and dissimilar materials. The process, as originally designed by The Welding Institute (TWI), provides a unique approach to manufacturing—where materials can be joined in many designs and still retain mechanical properties that are similar to, or greater than, other forms of welding. This process is not free of defects that can alter, limit, and occasionally render the resulting weld unusable. Most common amongst these defects are kissing bonds, wormholes and cracks that are often hidden from visual inspection. To identify these defects, various nondestructive testing methods are being used. This paper presents background to the process of friction stir welding and identifies major process parameters that affect the weld properties, the origin, and types of defects that can occur, and potential nondestructive methods for ex-situ detection and in-situ identification of these potential defects, which can then allow for corrective action to be taken.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/timothy_bigelow/29/