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During friction stir welding (FSW) the material being joined is subjected to a thermal-mechanical process in which the temperature, strain and strain rates are not completely understood. To produce a defect free weld, process parameters for the weld and tool pin design must be chosen carefully. The ability to select the weld parameters based on the thermal processing requirements of the material, would allow optimization of mechanical properties in the weld region. In this study, an attempt is made to correlate the microstructure with the variation in thermal history the material experiences during the FSW process.