Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a new welding process that can be applied successfully to metals. However the use of this technique on plastics has had very limited success due to their thermal and viscoelastic properties. Viblade is a new variant of FSW for plastics; this welding process heats the workpiece material by a blade and a shoulder which vibrate in a linear reciprocating motion parallel to the joint line. In this paper, Design of Experiments (DoE) was used to investigate the influence of the process parameters and blade geometry on the width of heat affected zone and on the mechanical resistance of the joint. Furthermore, a 2D finite element thermal analysis was developed to analyse the thermal phenomena involved in the process.
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