The environmental impact of friction stir welding process vs. welding parameters was evaluated and analysed in detail. To this purpose, butt joints in AA5754 aluminum alloy sheets were obtained at different rotational and welding speeds. All input and output data, in terms of materials, energies and emissions, were collected and analyzed using a life cycle assessment software in order to evaluate the environmental impact index. Sound weld was used as functional unit and all energy and material flows were based on it. The results given by the life cycle assessment analysis has shown that the environmental impact of friction stir welding is strongly affected by rotational and welding speeds. The environmental impact was also related to the mechanical properties of joints, expressed as ultimate tensile strength and ultimate elongation.
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