AbstractRefill friction stir spot welding (FSSW-Refill) was used to produce solid-state joints in an automotive 5042 aluminium alloy. The influence of plunge depth, rotational speed, plunge rate and time on the microstructure and shear strength was investigated. The Statistica software package was used to correlate process parameters with the mechanical properties of the joints. The most significant variables are plunge depth and tool rotational speed, while volumetric defects have a small influence on the mechanical performance of the welds. Reducing the rotational speed from 1900 rpm to 900 rpm increased the bonding ligament length. For joints produced at a higher tool rotational speed (1900 rpm) the material flow was more vertical, i.e., towards the surface of the joint, the bonding ligament length was reduced and the shear strength was impaired.