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ISSN 2348-5426

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology (IJAST)

Review of Friction Stir Welding of Dissimilar Al-Fe Metals

Akash Pisharody 1 , Jyoti Menghani 2 , Shailesh N Pandiya 3 Mechanical Engineering Department, SVNIT, Surat, 395007

ABSTRACT: Friction stir welding is a relatively new welding technology which has been used to join similar and dissimilar alloys. Dissimilar Aluminium to steel joints is required in automobile industries and cryogenic applications due to weight savings and energy efficiency requirements. The following review is a study of Friction Stir Welding process applied to dissimilar material welding of Al alloys and steels to assess the current status of work done in the field.

KeywordsFriction Stir Welding, Dissimilar, Aluminium, Steel

I.

INTRODUCTION

Friction Stir welding (FSW) was invented and patented by W.M Thomas in 1991 [1]. The process uses a non consumable rotating tool which is inserted between the faying surfaces of the joint and it is traversed along it [2]. The welding technique has been termed as a solid state welding technique [1]. The fusion is produced on account of heat generated by the shoulder of the tool which plasticizes the material underneath it. The pin does the job of stirring the plasticized material around it to create fusion of the materials being joined.

Friction stir welding was initially developed for the welding of aluminium alloys [4]. Studies have been done on similar welding of steels[4-12] and of aluminium[13-18]. The main reason for joining aluminum and steel is due to the need for weight savings, thus essentially, from a need for energy- efficiency in automobile industry [19,20]. The methods conventionally used to join steels and aluminum such as arc welding have a limitation in the fact that intermetallic compounds are formed [Joining of Al 6061 alloy to AISI 1018 steel by combined effects of fusion and solid state welding]. Also there is a difference between the melting point and thermal coefficient of expansion between the metals. It is here where Friction welding has been proven practical to eliminate the formation of the intermetallic phases and to form a sound weld [21].

FSW has some distinct advantages over the other welding process [22]. The process has lower distortion, good dimensional stability, absence of cracking of all. There has been an increase in the research done in FSW. One field of interest has been in the dissimilar welding of Aluminium alloys and steel. In this paper the work done in this field has been reviewed.

II. OVERVIEW OF FSW OF AL ALLOY TO STEEL

2.1 Study of butt joints.

The initial study done on welding of Al alloy to steel was done by K. Kimapong and T. Watanabe [22]. They investigated the found the effects of varying pin rotation speed on microstructure of Aluminium alloy 5083 to SS 400 mild steel. The study investigated effects of pin rotation speed, Pin position and pin diameter on the microstructure and tensile strength of the joint formed. There was an optimum rotation speed achieved for the weld at 250 rpm. At lower speeds the joint strength was low reasoned to be due to low heat input and at higher speed the authors conclude that there was oxidation of Mg in Al matrix which resulted in incomplete joints. Maximum tensile strength was obtained at a pin offset of 0.2mm. EDS analysis was carried out on the cross section of the weld and the results (Fig 2) show intermetallic compounds in the upper region of the interface. The authors also found that a minimum pin diameter was required for producing the joint.

a minimum pin diameter was required for producing the joint. Fig. 1: SEM analysis of weld

Fig. 1: SEM analysis of weld sections [22]

2:

sections [22]

Fig.

EDS

analysis

of

weld

C.M. Chen, R. Kovacevic [23] carried out FSW of 6061 Al alloy and AISI 1018 steel. The authors used an AE sensor to monitor tool wear and breakage. Temperature measurement was done using two thermocouples and the data was used to run simulations for temperature distributions as shown in Fig 3a. The authors concluded that the FSW of Al alloy to steel is a combination of fusion and solid state welding. SEM and EDS was carried out in the weld nugget zone and the authors found the existence of intermetallic compounds in the zone as shown in Fig 3b. The microhardness profile was also measured. There were some peaks observed in the hardness in the nugget zone which has been attributed to the intermetallic compounds in the zone

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ISSN 2348-5426

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology (IJAST)

Journal of Advances in Science and Technology (IJAST) Fig 3 [23] a) Temperature distributions acress weld

Fig 3 [23]

a) Temperature distributions acress weld section b) XRD analysis of nugget

distributions acress weld section b) XRD analysis of nugget Fig 4 [23]Micro hardness study of weld

Fig 4 [23]Micro hardness study of weld section

W H Jiang and R Kovacevic [24] carried out FSW of 6061 Al alloy and AISI 1018 steel. The authors have done microhardness study with results similar to the study of the previous authors. A study of tensile strength revealed that fracture occurred at the TMAZ in the Al alloy side Fig 5. The authors have concluded that the weld produced was free of cracks and porosity

that the weld produced was free of cracks and porosity Fig 5 Fractured specimen [24] The

Fig 5 Fractured specimen [24]

The initial study of FSW of stainless steel and aluminium alloys was done by Huseyin Uzun et al [25]. The study involved FSW of Al 6013 alloy and X5CrNi18-10 stainless steel. The microstructure, hardness, fatigue properties and EDX analysis of friction stir welded dissimilar Al 6013 alloy and stainless steel joints were studied. Fatigue properties of Al

6013-T4/stainless steel joints were found to be approximately 30% lower than that of the Al 6013-T6 alloy base metal fig 6

.
.

Fig 6 S-N curve indicating the comparison of fatigue behavior [25]

T Yasui et al [26] studied the high speed weldability of FSW between 6063 Al and S45C steel. The authors have experimented with a two material combined tool. The authors made a graphical representation of tool traverse speed and rotation speed and have showed the optimal values for each for an optimal weld Fig 7. A similar hardness profile was obtained by the authors as in previous cases.

profile was obtained by the authors as in previous cases. Fig 7 Graph showing effect of

Fig 7 Graph showing effect of speeds on quality of weld [26]

M. Merklein and A. Giera [27] did a study on laser assisted FSW on AA6016 T4 and draw able steel DC04. The welding speed considerably increased to 2000mm/min by the aid of laser pre-heating. The authors had varied the process parameters viz rotational speed, traverse speed and laser power and investigated the effects of these with help of DOE technique. Tensile strength studies were carried out and a maximum strength of 200 MPa. Deep drawing tests obtained a result of a drawing ratio of 1.6. Metallurgical investigations revealed that there was no formation of intermetallics.

Thaiping Chen [28] did a study on FSW of AA6061 aluminum alloy and SS400 low-carbon steel. The author carried out an optimization of the welding parameters using taguchi methods. The most influential parameters which were found using ANOVA and F ratio analysis was found to be rotational speed and traverse speed. Lower values of traverse

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ISSN 2348-5426

International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology (IJAST)

speed and rotational speed were found to be the best combination for higher quality function which was Chapry impact value.

HanSur Bang et al [29]worked on the GTAW pre-heated FSW of stainless steel alloy STS304 to an aluminum alloy Al6061.A comparative study of pre-heated hybrid FSW (HFSW) and ordinary FSW was done. A study of tensile strengths of the joints made revealed that the joint strength of HFSW was greater than that of FSW with efficiency being 93% for HFSW and 78% for FSW. The fracture of HFSW specimen were also ductile. Metallographic studies revealed that the microstructure of Al alloy was finer in case of HFSW than FSW.

2.2 Study of Lap joints:

A. Elrefaey et al [30]worked on the FSW of 1100 H24 Al alloy and low carbon steel with lap joint configuration. One of the main features of the aluminum macrostructure of the weld was that no clear “onion ring” structure, or thermo mechanically affected zone, appeared in contrast to those reported in FSW of aluminum alloys. Fractured surfaces after the shear test of joints revealed Fe-Al intermetallic compounds which was cited as the reason for brittle failure of the joints. The failure loads showed a general trend of decrement with increase traverse speeds.

Table 1 Results of peel test with various process parameters [30]

1 Results of peel test with various process parameters [30] Kittipong Kimapong* and Takehiko Watanabe [31]

Kittipong Kimapong* and Takehiko Watanabe [31] did a study of FSW of Al 5083 and SS400 steel with lap joint configuration. The authors found that by increasing the rotational speed of the tool there was a decrease the shear load of the joint because the higher rotational speed formed a thick FeAl 3 intermetallic compound at the interface between aluminum and steel. Increasing the traverse speed of a tool increased the shear load of joints. However, extremely high traverse speeds produced the joint with incompletely welded interface. Increasing the pin depth made the intermetallic compound thickness thicker and gave rise to an incomplete joint. The EDS analysis revealed that the interfaces had intermetallic compounds. A comparison of microstructures at lower and higher traverse speed and tool rotation was done by the authors. At low combination of speed and rotation, the aluminum and steel fracture surfaces showed dimple pattern that indicated ductile feature of the joint At higher combination of welding speed and rotation, the fracture showed cleavage pattern on the fracture surfaces that indicated brittle feature of the joint. The chemical compositions analyzed by EDS showed the phases contained the chemical compositions that were close to FeAl3 IMC in FeAl phase diagram.

that were close to FeAl3 IMC in Fe – Al phase diagram. Fig 8[31] a) Rotational

Fig 8[31] a) Rotational speed v/s shear load and intermetallic thickness b) traverse speed v/s shear load and intermetallic thickness c) Pin depth v/s shear load and intermetallic thickness

M. Movahedi et al [32] studied the effect of annealing heat treatment on FSW of Al 5083 and St-12 steel. The tensile test study was done by using shear tensile test and SEM and EDS was performed. The results indicated that at annealing temperatures of 300 and 350 o C there was an increase in the tensile strength of the joint formed Fig 10. The joints produced had higher strength in case of 350 o C treatment than at 300 o C. The formation of thin inter metallic compounds was attributed to be the largest influence for this effect. But the authors add that annealing at higher temperatures i.e 400 o C, the thickness of the intermetallics increased and the joint strength reduced.

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Table 2 Intermetallic layer thickness at various temperatures [32]

2 Intermetallic layer thickness at various temperatures [32] Fig 10 Average fracture loads v/s annealing duration
2 Intermetallic layer thickness at various temperatures [32] Fig 10 Average fracture loads v/s annealing duration

Fig 10 Average fracture loads v/s annealing duration a) 300 and 350 o C b) 400 o C

III. CONCLUSIONS

The study concludes that Friction stir welding of dissimilar Al alloy to steel is feasible by controlling the important process parameters i.e. tool rotation speed and traverse speed [28]. The joints have been produced in both butt and lap configurations by various authors. Various studies have highlighted the effect of intermetallics on the formation of the joint and its strength. Strength was found to reduce on formation of thick inter metallics like Al 13 Fe 4 and Al 5 Fe 2. But by preheating using laser [27] intermetallic phases were eliminated. In case of lap joints intermetallics were found related to higher speeds [30]. Further studies can be done using different pin profiles and shoulder diameters.

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology (IJAST)

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