Automotive manufacturers are increasing the use of lightweight materials and integrating new material combinations into their products to meet corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. Joining these materials can be challenging, and traditional processes such as resistance spot welding and riveting may not be able to economically produce welds of sufficient quality to meet mechanical property requirements. Friction stir spot welding (FSSW) variations offer an interesting alternative, particularly refill friction stir spot welding (R-FSSW). EWI has partnered with member companies to spearhead cutting-edge research on this topic, including joining of high-strength aluminum alloys, and tool design for joining high-strength aluminum alloys to high-strength steels.
EWI Engineering Manager James Cruz has written Friction Stir Spot Welding — Coming Soon to a Car Near You to provide an overview of this solid-state joining alternative to traditional resistance spot welding. To read the article, click here.