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The paper presents the results of research work on linear FSW (Friction Stir Welding) joining aluminum alloys AA2024-T3 of 0.5 mm in thickness. The study was conducted on properly adapted numerical controlled 3 axis milling machine using a ceramic tool and special designed fastening device. The tool dimensions have been estimated according to the algorithm shown in the literature [4]. All joints were made of end-to end (butt) configuration under different welding speed. The rotational speed of the tool and tool offset was constant. The effect of selected technological parameters on the quality of the joint was analyzed. Produced butt joint have been subjected to a static tensile testing to identify mechanical features of the materials of joints compared to parent materials. Measurements of micro hardness HV in the plastically formed stir zone of joint and in the parent material have been carried out. Axial and radial welding forces in the joining region were recorded during the tests and their dependency from the welding parameters was studied. Based on the results of strength tests the efficiency of joints for sheets of 0.5 mm in thicknesses oscillated up to 96% compared to the parent material. It has been found that for given parameters the correct, free of defects joints were obtained. The paper also presents the results of low-cycle fatigue tests of obtained FSW joints. The use of a ceramic tool in the FSW process allows to obtain welds with higher strength than conventional tools. The results suggests that FSW can be potentially applied to joining aluminum alloys.
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