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LATERAL POSITION DETECTION FOR FRICTION STIR SYSTEMS

United States Patent Application

20090294511
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
A friction stir system for processing at least a first workpiece includes a spindle actuator coupled to a rotary tool comprising a rotating member for contacting and processing the first workpiece. A detection system is provided for obtaining information related to a lateral alignment of the rotating member. The detection system comprises at least one sensor for measuring a force experienced by the rotary tool or a parameter related to the force experienced by the rotary tool during processing, wherein the sensor provides sensor signals. A signal processing system is coupled to receive and analyze the sensor signals and determine a lateral alignment of the rotating member relative to a selected lateral position, a selected path, or a direction to decrease a lateral distance relative to the selected lateral position or selected path. In one embodiment, the friction stir system can be embodied as a closed loop tracking system, such as a robot-based tracked friction stir welding (FSW) or friction stir processing (FSP) system.
Fleming, Paul (Nashville, TN), Lammlein, David (Houston, TX), Cook, George E. (Brentwood, TN), Wilkes, D. M. (Nashville, TN), Strauss, Alvin M. (Nashville, TN), Delapp, David (Ashland City, TX), Hartman, Daniel A. (Santa Fe, NM)
Vanderbilt University (Nashville TN)
12/ 130,622
May 30, 2008
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS [0001] The United States Government has certain rights in embodiments of the present invention pursuant to prime contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 with the United States Department of Energy.