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Lateral position detection and control for friction stir systems

United States Patent

December 14, 2010
View the Complete Patent 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 (Boulder, CO), Lammlein; David (Houston, TX), Cook; George E. (Brentwood, TN), Wilkes; Don Mitchell (Nashville, TN), Strauss; Alvin M. (Nashville, TN), Delapp; David (Ashland City, TN), Hartman; Daniel A. (Santa Fe, NM)
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
12/ 703,811
February 11, 2010
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS 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.