Advanced Joining and Processing at Wichita State University - friction stir welding


The Advanced Joining & Processing Lab is transferring from the Wichita state University’s National Institute for Aviation Research to Wichita State University’s College of Engineering. The lab will still be a fully-functional FSW research laboratory. Additional information is coming soon.

As a member of the National Science Foundation's Center for Friction Stir Processing, the research and development efforts of the Advanced Joining and Processing Lab are driving advancement in Friction Stir Welding (FSW). Advanced Joining and Processing Lab focuses on Friction Stir Welding and its variations: Friction Stir Spot Welding and Friction Stir Processing.

FSW is an automated solid state joining process that offers numerous benefits in joining metals and thermoplastics including minimizing or eliminating defects typically encountered in fusion welding, such as excessive weld distortion, weld cracking and lower mechanical properties.

Other benefits of FSW over established mechanical joining methods include improved joint strength, reduced manufacturing time, reduced complexity of the manufacturing process, reduced parts count and weight, and an ability to work with previously unweldable materials. This technology is increasingly replacing rivets and fusion welding on many aircraft structures.

The Advanced Joining and Processing Laboratory was developed and is used in part by the NIAR/Industry/State (NIS) program and the Federal Aviation Administration.


  • Ability to perform multiple joint configurations such as butt and lab joints in aluminum alloys up to 1” in thickness
  • Prototype development and pilot production of complex curvature structures using FSW
  • Material and structural testing and analysis of structures utilizing FSW
  • Ability to provide multi-axis FSW research and development tools for technology transfer into the industrial sector
  • Ability to join and process high temperature materials such as nickel, aluminum, bronze, steel, and titanium
  • Ability to perform self-reacting FSW
  • Corrosion testing
  • Automatic microhardness testing/mapping
  • Metallography testing and analysis
  • Friction stir spot welding

Facilties & Equipment

  • 5,000 sq. ft laboratory
  • MTS ISTIR PDS 5-axis motion, 7-axis force monitoring friction stir welding machine, 120-in. x 40-in. x 25-in. work envelope
  • Kawasaki ZZX-200S robot with FSJ C-frame
  • ABB IRB-6600-175 robot with Friction Stir Link C-frame
  • ABB IRB-7600 robot with High Rotational Speed Spindle
  • Two MTS 22-kip load frames
  • Leco AMH-53 automatic microhardness tester
  • Microscopes with digital imaging
  • Metallographic sample prep lab

NIAR Advanced Joining and Processing Lab

Advanced Joining and Processing Lab

Downloads & Links


Zulma Toro-Ramos
Dean, College of Engineering, Wichita State University
(316) 978-3400





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