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Aluminum 6082-T6 panels were joined by friction stir welding utilizing a bobbin tool. A thermal simulation of the process was developed based upon machine torque and the temperature dependent yield stress utilizing a slip factor and an assumed coefficient of friction. The torque-based approach was compared to another simulation established on the shear layer methodology (SLM), which does not require the slip factor or coefficient of friction as model inputs. The SLM simulation, however, only models heat generation from the leading edges of the tool. Ultimately, the two approaches yielded matching temperature predictions as both methodologies predicted the same overall total heat generation from the tool. A modified shear layer approach is proposed that adopts the flexibility and convenience of the shear layer method, yet models heat generation from all tool/workpiece interfaces.
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