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Title page for ETD etd-03162011-114953

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gibson, Brian Travis
Author's Email Address brian.t.gibson@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03162011-114953
Title Custom Low-Cost Force Measurement Methods In Friction Stir Welding
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Alvin M. Strauss Committee Co-Chair
George E. Cook Committee Co-Chair
David R. DeLapp Committee Member
  • transducer
  • force
  • friction stir welding
  • low cost
  • torque
  • wireless
  • xbee
Date of Defense 2011-03-11
Availability unrestricted
Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a solid-state joining technique that is rapidly expanding to a wide range of industries. In this thesis, custom low-cost force measurement methods developed specifically for use with FSW are presented. Force data can provide insight into weld quality, resulting mechanical properties, and even tool wear. Implementation of force control increases the applicability of FSW, and some research suggests that weld characteristics can be manipulated using force control.

A method of measuring axial force is presented that exploits the in-process deflection of a robotic link for measurement purposes. Additionally, a custom low-cost force transducer designed specifically to withstand the thermal and mechanical loads of FSW and capable of measuring all forces of interest in FSW is developed, with a focus on torque measurement implementation as the first stage of development. The process for designing and implementing these two systems is outlined in great detail from concept to completion. The cost for each system is also analyzed and is shown to be lower than any commercially available load cell that could be utilized in FSW.

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