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The aiCAMstir project investigates Artificial Intelligence based Computer Aided Manufacturing of Friction Stir Welds

The aiCAMstir project investigates Artificial Intelligence based Computer Aided Manufacturing of Friction Stir Welds.

aiCAMstir: Artificial Intelligence based Computer Aided Manufacturing of Friction Stir Welds

CFD Analyis showing the material flow caused by a cylindrical FSW tool with coarse threats in a lap joint
Computional Fluid Dynamics will be used for optimising the tool design of aiCAMstir tools for lap welding.[1] The tool is slightly tilted and moves from right to left.

It is difficult to choose and optimise the friction stir welding tool design and welding parameters for lap welding, as shown by many publications.[2]

Thus, the aiCAMstir project has been set-up with the objective to add a new aiCAMstir computer aided manufacturing control system to FSW machines, which recommends (or even automatically optimises) parameters based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), analytical models of the FSW power, finite element analysis (FEA), design of experiments (DOE), Wikipedia-like open source cloud data and artificial intelligence (AI) including machine learning.

The regions of an lap weld made by FSW, e.g. Weld Nugget (WN), Thermo-Mechanically Affected Zone (TMAZ), Advancing Side (ADV) and Retreating Side (RET)
Benchmark: Conventional butt welding tool used for lap joints at 1200 rpm at 250 mm/min[3]
Computational fluid dynamics analysis of material flow using a conventional butt welding tool[1]
Drawing of a conical "Triflat" butt welding tool producing a lap joint
Benchmark: Conventional butt welding tool used for lap joints causing hooking and thinning

This international collaborative project will be conducted for producing the next generation of lap welding tools, which overcome the problems caused by thinning and hooking. A new set of tools will be evaluated and optimised by computational fluid dynamics regarding material flow.

The industrially funded project will be sponsored by a number of industrial companies from various industry sectors and leading universities and R&D organsations.

The tool pin has two regions: Coarse threads in the upper sheet and pentagonal in the joint region between the overlapping sheets
Pentagonal aiCAMstir tool for disrupting the oxide layer during lap welding[4][5]
The tool pin has has threads that move the plasticised material upwards or downwards and around the pin
Counterflow aiCAMstir tool with left-handed, right-handed and neutral threads on 3 ridges[3]
Cylindrical aiCAMstir tool with three rifeled prongs to disrupt the oxide layer[6]

Project Steering Group

The participants of the aiCAMstir Project Steering Group will collaborate on Artificial Intelligence based Computer Aided Manufacturing by Friction Stir Welding and will meet in on-line meetings.

  • The participants may present their results and provide information about their services and products on the Creative Commons licenced Open Access on the “aiCAMstir Cloud”
  • Industrial companies will pay a participation fee and need to pay for experimental studies. Some of the non-confidential data of their studies and some data of the users of the system will be fed into the open source cloud of the aiCAMstir system.
  • R&D companies and universities may participate free of charge in the aiCAMstir project, if they get invited and if they get re-elected after continuously feeding the “aiCAMstir Cloud” with useful data.
  • Virtual Awards will be presented to those project participants who make the best contributions.


There will be three levels of confidentiality: Open Access, Project Steering Group only and One-to-One only. In the latter case the tool designs and welding results may be shared with the Project Steering Group, but the tool and workpiece material specifications and workpiece geometry may be kept confidential, e.g. a 5 mm thick 6000 series extrusion was lap welded to a 4xx.x series aluminium casting.

Founding Partners

AluStir FTS Engineering Answers Ltd Transforming Stress Ltd
Stephan Kallee Mike Lewis Simon Smith
Im Unterdorf 19
63826 Geiselbach, Germany
146 London Road
Biggleswade SG18 8EH, UK
The Sycamores, 43 Kneesworth St
Royston SG8 5AB, UK
Tel: +49 (0) 6024 6360123 Tel: +44 (0) 7758 742358 Tel: +44 (0) 7742 793848

Links to new and improved pages

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Lewis and Simon D. Smith: The Development of FSW Process Modelling for Use by Process Engineers. In: The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2021: Friction Stir Welding and Processing XI. 17 February 2021.
  2. Matthew Champagne (University of New Orleans): Investigation of 2195 and 2219 Post Weld Heat Treatments for Additive Friction Stir Lap Welds. Pages 9, 20-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Egoitz Aldanondo, Javier Vivas, Pedro Álvarez (LORTEK) and Iñaki Hurtado (MU-ENG): Effect of Tool Geometry and Welding Parameters on Friction Stir Welded Lap Joint Formation with AA2099-T83 and AA2060-T8E30 Aluminium Alloys. Metals 2020, 10(7), 872, CC BY 4.0.
  4. Marc J. Brooker, A. J. M. (Ton) van Deudekom, Stephan W. Kallee and Peter D. Sketchley: Applying Friction Stir Welding to the Ariane 5 Main Motor Thrust Frame. In: European Space Agency – Publications - ESA SP; 468; 507-512; 2000. ISSN: 0379-6566.
  5. Stephan W. Kallee, E. Dave Nicholas and Wayne M. Thomas: Industrialisation of friction stir welding or aerospace structures. Paper presented at Structures and Technologies - Challenges for Future Launchers, Third European Conference, Strasbourg, 11-14 December 2001.
  6. Wayne M. Thomas, David G. Staines, Ian M. Norris and Ruis de Frias: Friction Stir Welding –Tools and developments. FSW seminar, IST-Porto, Portugal. 3 December 2002.