To apply industrial robots in friction stir welding (FSW) for difficult-to-weld materials and alloys has until recently been a proposed task. However, yet the laboratory experiments did not provide a feasible industrial application. We describe our approach to modify and provide an industrial robot with FS-welding capacity by modifying a standard industrial robot through replacing its sixth axis with FSW related equipment. The emphasis is on achieving reasonable welding speed and path complexity in 3-D space. As significant force is needed for FSW and at the same time position precision has to be kept, the control problems become complicated. We demonstrate our first experiments, highlighting this problem and point some possible solutions.
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