In recent years, scientific interest on friction stir welding (FSW) has grown more and more since such a joining technique allows one to weld lightweight alloys that are rather difficult to weld or even “unweldable” with the classic fusion welding operations. Furthermore, few industrial applications of the process are already known in different manufacturing fields. In this paper, the optimization problem of a FSW lap joint for automotive applications is investigated, taking into account process parameters such as the tool rotating speed and the tool feed rate; a numerical gradient technique is applied for the optimization procedure reducing the number of experimental tests to be developed.

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