Improving the stability of the friction stir channelling technology via a cooled copper backing plate

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Abstract: The development of the friction stir channelling (FSC) technology has a potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry, providing an innovative way to produce continuous sub-surface channels in monolithic components in a single step. However, the process generates heat that can lead to defects and loss of stationarity, affecting the quality of the channels produced and the process’ efficiency and control. To address these challenges, a ground-breaking study was conducted using a cooled copper backing plate to adjust the process temperatures and investigate the influence of the temperature on FSC stability. The results of the study showed that the cooled copper backing plate has a significantly higher rate of heat conduction, effectively preventing the processed component from overheating and ensuring that the process maintains its stationarity. When using the steel backing plate, only one combination of process parameters (a rotation speed of 450 rev/min and a traverse speed of 71 mm/min) yielded satisfactory results. Moreover, the use of the cooled copper backing plate allowed for a wider range of process parameters to be employed, resulting in sub-surface channels with higher quality and fewer defects. The 710/71 parameters combination resulted in a lower heat input, while the 900/45 parameters set produced channels with a more rectangular geometry. A rotation speed of 900 rev/min and a traverse speed of 45 mm/min have been shown to be the best choice. This innovative approach to FSC technology represents a major step forward in solid-state manufacturing, envisaging new possibilities for producing longer sub-surface channels with superior quality and greater efficiency. Highlights: • Conducting the FSC process at low temperature has improved its stability. • The use of a cooled copper backing plate enabled a broader range of FSC process parameters. • Longer and stabler leak-free sub-surface channels have been produced in aluminium alloys. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-546
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • AA5083-H111
  • Cooled backing plate
  • Friction stir channelling
  • Low temperature
  • Sub-surface channels


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