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Although laser stir welding (LSW) is applied to various metallic systems, it is especially appropriate to laser beam welding (LBW) of aluminum, because liquid aluminum possesses significantly less surface tension and viscosity than most common metal alloys, which results in greater fluidity of the molten pool. This article schematically illustrates the keyhole instability in LBW and describes the process details of LSW. Representative macrographs of butt, lap, and fillet welds produced using the LBW and LSW processes are presented. The article discusses the laser welding technologies having a large impact on the ability to apply LSW in production. It concludes with information on the industrial applications of LSW.

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