Friction stir welding (FSW) is the most remarkable welding technology that has been invented and developed in the last decade. It is a solid-state welding process in which a rotating tool is driven into the material and translated along the interface of two or more plates. This technology has been successfully used to join materials that are considered difficult to be welded by fusion welding methods. FSW has potentially significant applications in many industrial fields such as aerospace, automotive, and naval industry. Anyway, FSW technology requires a meticulous understanding of the process and consequent mechanical properties of the welds in order to be used in the production of high performance components. The present work deals with an experimental campaign aimed at the evaluation of the mechanical properties of AA6060 T6 friction stir welded joints. The butt joints obtained using two different tool geometries (standard and threaded) were performed by varying the welding parameters, namely, tool rotating speed and feed rate. The standard tool was a very simple device fabricated using AISI 1040 steel, with a flat shoulder and a cylindrical pin. The threaded tool was a more complex device based on two main components: a tool holder, with a flat shoulder, and a threaded probe obtained using a commercial thread forming tap. The quality of the joints was evaluated in terms of both tensile strength (UTS) and fatigue behavior. The study of axial pulsing fatigue properties required the fabrication of a specific testing device able to avoid parasite bending moments. In order to estimate the more efficient and effective tool type, the welding forces (axial and longitudinal) were also measured.

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