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US20070152015: Methods and apparatus for retractable pin friction stir welding and spot welding
24 Claims, 9 Drawings
An apparatus for friction stir welding is described that includes a stationary assembly having a bore therethrough, the bore having an inner diameter, and a rotational assembly having a welding end. At least the welding end of the rotational assembly extends through the bore. A portion of the rotational assembly is adjacent the inner diameter of the bore. At least one of the adjacent portion of the rotational assembly and the inner diameter of the stationary assembly are configured such that rotation of the rotational assembly will cause plasticized material from a welding process that has entered an area between the adjacent portion and the inner diameter to move towards a welding zone located proximate the welding end.
- 1. An apparatus for friction stir welding comprising:
a stationary assembly comprising a bore therethrough, said bore comprising an inner diameter; and
a rotational assembly comprising a welding end, at least said welding end of said rotational assembly extending through said bore, a portion of said rotational assembly adjacent said inner diameter of said bore, at least one of the adjacent portion of said rotational assembly and said inner diameter of said stationary assembly configured such that rotation of said rotational assembly will cause plasticized material from a welding process that has entered an area between the adjacent portion and said inner diameter to move towards a welding zone located proximate said welding end.
- 11. A method for reintroducing an amount of flash material migrating into an area between adjacent portions of a rotational assembly and a stationary assembly that substantially surrounds the rotational assembly back into a friction stir welding process, said method comprising:
rotating the rotational assembly to form a weld;
engaging flash material migrating into an area between the adjacent portions of the rotational assembly and the stationary assembly with a spiraling mechanism formed on at least one of an outer diameter of the rotational assembly and an inside diameter of the stationary assembly; and
utilizing the spiraling mechanism in combination with the rotation of the rotational assembly to push the flash material back into a welding zone proximate the rotational assembly.
- 16. A friction stir welding apparatus comprising:
a rotational assembly comprising an outer diameter; and
a stationary assembly comprising an inner diameter substantially adjacent to said rotational assembly, at least one of said inner diameter and said outer diameter comprising material control threading in a direction opposite a direction of rotation of said rotational assembly.
- 21. A method for material management in friction stir welding processes comprising:
providing a friction stir welding apparatus comprising a rotating tool within a sleeve;
configuring the rotating tool to rotate in a first direction; and
outfitting at least one of the rotating tool and the sleeve with at least one of a material control groove and a material control protrusion spiraling in a direction counter to the direction of rotation of the rotating tool.
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