AbstractThe effects of rotational and welding speeds on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bobbin-tool friction stir welded (BT-FSW) Mg AZ31 were investigated. The results indicated that the thermo-mechanically affected zone (TMAZ) consisted of equiaxed grains, which were inconsistent with the deformed, rotated and elongated grains found in the TMAZs of bobbin-tool friction stir welded Al alloys and friction stir welded Al and Mg alloys. The average grain size increased as the ratio of the rotational speed to welding speed increased. Excellent welds with no degradation in hardness were produced using a low heat input. Mechanical tests revealed that the ultimate tensile strengths gradually increased with increasing welding speed while keeping the rotational speed constant. The rotational and welding speeds had only slight influences on the yield stress and fracture elongation.