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Friction Stir Welding (FSW) Meet the Team – Zak Pramann

November 1, 2012

Today’s “Meet the FSW Team” features Zak Pramann.  Zak has been at EWI for four years and comes to us fresh from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Being a metallurgical engineer, Zak provides a unique perspective to the FSW team – helping to explain the mechanics behind some of the FSW interactions from a metallurgical standpoint. Zak’s material background also helps with FSW tool material selection, choosing the best tool material for the base metals being welded. Being from SD, Zak prefers cold winters to hot summers – so the fact that it’s currently about 35 degrees in Columbus probably suits him fine. Please don’t hesitate to contact Zak if you have any questions or interests related to EWI or friction stir welding technology.  You can reach him at 614.688.5114 or [email protected].

Technical Expertise

Zak is a project engineer within the Friction Stir Welding Group involved in the friction stir welding (FSW) and friction stir processing (FSP).  He has a strong background in materials and metallurgy and has experience in the FSW/FSP of magnesium alloys, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, nickel-based superalloys, HSLA steels, metal-matrix composites, polymers, polymer composites, and bulk metallic glasses.  Zak’s primary area of expertise prior to joining EWI was with FSW of polymers and refill spot welding (RFSSW) of thin sheet magnesium and alclad aluminum.

Zak’s current area of expertise has grown to include FSW of thick plate aluminum and steel.  He also has experience in failure analysis, metallography, mechanical testing, ultrasonic welding, and cold spray deposition.


Background and Project Experience

Zak has been involved in FSW since 2005 as an undergraduate research assistant at the Advanced Materials Processes and Joining Center located on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  His first project involved microstructural control during the FSW of thin-sheet fine-grained titanium and from there moved to projects involving aluminum, metal-matrix composites, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, polymers, and metallic glasses.  Prior to that Zak interned at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigating refractory materials for extraterrestrial power generation uses.  Zak also has applied experience in dissimilar metal FSW joints and superplasticity of FSW joints.



B.S Metallurgical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology