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A key differentiator between friction stir welding (FSW) and other friction welding processes is the presence of a nonconsumable tool in FSW, often referred to as a pin tool to differentiate it from other tooling associated with the process. This article discusses materials for friction stir welding (FSW) pin tools, various tool geometries that have been used, designs for specific applications, predicting and measuring tool performance, and other considerations in FSW pin tool design. The tool materials include tool steels, superalloys, refractory metals, carbides and ceramics, and superabrasives.

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