AbstractFriction stir welding (FSW) was carried out for the butt joining of dissimilar AA2024-T3 and AA7050-T7651 aluminium alloys with 2-mm thicknesses. A comparison between the position and orientation of different materials was performed by varying the welding speed while keeping the rotational speed constant. Through an analysis of the force and torque produced during welding and a simple analytical model, the results indicate that the heat input was reduced when the AA7050 alloy was located in the advancing side (AS) of the joint. The different material positions influenced the material transportation and the interface in the centre of the stir zone (SZ). The microhardness of both materials was lower when they were in the AS of the joint. The differences in the hardness values were reduced at higher welding speeds when the heat input was decreased. The mechanical performance increased when the lower strength alloy was located in the AS. The material orientation exhibited a small influence when the AA7050 alloy was in the AS and in general on the resulting microhardness for all the cases analysed. The tensile strength values were very similar for both orientations, but an increase in the yield strength could be measured when the materials were oriented in the transverse direction.