Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9
Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105 A comparison between FSW and TIG welding

Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105 A comparison between FSW and TIG welding techniques:

A comparison between FSW and TIG welding techniques:

modifications of microstructure and pitting corrosion resistance in AA 2024-T3 butt joints

A. Squillace , A. De Fenzo, G. Giorleo, F. Bellucci

Department of Materials and Production Engineering, University of Naples, “Federico II” Piazzale Tecchio, 80-80125 Naples, Italy

Received 9 April 2003; accepted 10 March 2004

Abstract

An experimental investigation has been carried out, in present paper, on microstructure and corrosion resistance of weld butt joints of AA 2024-T3. Two different welding processes have been considered: a conventional tungsten inert gas (TIG) process and an innovative solid state welding process known as friction stir welding (FSW). Micro-hardness measurements allow pointing out a general decay of mechanical properties of TIG joints, mainly due to high temperatures experienced by material. In FSW joint, instead, lower temperatures involved in process and severe plastic deformations induced by tool motion allow rising of a complex situation: by a general point of view a slight decay of mechanical properties is recorded in nugget zone, flow arm and thermo-mechanically altered zone (TMAZ), while in heat-affected zone (HAZ), due to starting heat treatment of alloy under investigation, a light improvement of such properties is appreciated. In flow arm and in nugget zone, however, a light recovery of hardness, w.r.t. TMAZ zone, is recorded, due to the re-crystallisation of a very fine grain structure. Polarisation curve tests and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, performed in this paper, allow assessing a generalised nobler behaviour of weld bead with respect to parent alloy. In FSW joint, however, the differences between the three examined zone are not so evident as in TIG joint; what is more, inside FSW weld bead, retreating zone shows a behaviour nobler than advancing one. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Welding; Tungsten inert gas; Friction stir; Pitting corrosion; Polarisation curve test; Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

1. Introduction

The welding of aluminium and its alloys has always repre- sented a great challenge for designers and technologists. As a matter of fact, lots of difficulties are associated to this kind of joint process, mainly related to the presence of a tenacious oxide layer, high thermal conductivity, high coefficient of thermal expansion, solidification shrinkage and, above all, high solubility of hydrogen, and other gases, in molten state [1]. Further problems can rise when attention is focused on heat-treatable alloys, since heat, provided by welding pro- cess, is responsible of the decay of mechanical properties, due to phase transformations and softening induced in alloy [1–3]. As a consequence of all above-mentioned problems, also into a leader industry such as the aeronautic one, which makes wide usage of aluminium alloys, and especially of the alloy investigated in present paper, mechanical joints are

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39-081-768-2555; fax: +39-081-768-2362. E-mail address: squillac@unina.it (A. Squillace).

0924-0136/$ – see front matter © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2004.03.022

preferred ones. What is more, additional problems rise when corrosion resistance characteristics become relevant: in this case phase transformations induced in alloy structure often result into a deep modification of materials properties [4]. In this paper a comparison has been proposed on electro- chemical properties allowable by welded butt joints realised with two different welding processes: the former is a con- ventional tungsten inert gas (TIG) process, the latter is an innovative friction stir welding (FSW) process, invented at The Welding Institute, Cambridge, UK, in 1991 [5]. The typical weld bead of TIG joint, according to weld- ing speed, shows different types of grain structures [3]: the lower the speed (<7 mm/s) the wider the grains, what is more they result aligned in the direction of heat source mo- tion. For the highest welding speed (>19 mm/s) a region of fine equiaxed grains grows up throughout the thickness of the weld. For an heat-treated alloy, such as that under inves- tigation, the fusion of a part of material and high tempera- tures experienced by adjacent ones are responsible of above mentioned phase transformations and relative softening

[6].

98

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

Focusing attention on FSW, the structure of full weld zone, due to severe mechanical stresses experienced by ma- terial, shows an interesting variety of zones. The sight of weld bead, across the section, shows a region of deep defor- mation that is often referred to as the nugget zone [2,7,8]:

this zone shows a very fine grain structure [8] and is char- acterised by the presence of so-called onion rings. The thin zone subjected directly to the action of tool shoulder is re- ferred to as flow arm. Adjacent to the nugget zone is a zone

that, though has been not directly subjected to pin or shoul- der action, due to internal shear stresses, has experienced

a severe thermo-mechanical alteration, this zone is referred

to as TMAZ. Beyond this zone is that part of material that has been subjected only to thermal alterations, this zone is usually referred to as HAZ. The sight of the top surface of the weld bead, shows semicircular rings referred as banded microstructure; the distance between such rings depends on tool advance per revolution: band spacing will increase as this ratio grows, resulting in a less homogenous structure within the weld [9]. Corrosion resistance of AA 2024 has been widely inves- tigated, especially its susceptibility to pitting phenomenon [10,11]; to authors knowledge, however, few data are re- ported in literature about corrosion resistance of welded joints of this alloy [12]. In this research each of alterated zones above described, due to both welding processes un- der consideration, have been specifically characterised, and performances provided by the entire joints are proposed.

2. Materials and methods

The material under investigation is a commercial alu- minium alloy Al 2024-T3. Two thickness plates have been

investigated: 2 and 3 mm. Simple butt weld joints have been realised, in room conditions, along lamination direction, ei- ther by TIG (2 mm plates) and FSW (3 mm plates). TIG joints have been realised autogenously, i.e. without filler material, with a Miller 375p ac arc-welding power source with a 380 V input and an air-cooled internal trans- former. Detailed parameters are: voltage10 V, welding cur- rent 157–158 A (42% of maximum amperage 375 A), argon as shield gas (flow rate 20 l/min), electrode WP 1.60 mm × 1.75 mm ISO 6848. About 3 mm panels have been friction stir welded using

a DORMAC milling machine mod. FU110. The tool (car- bon steel C40) shoulder diameter is 18 mm and the pin is

a truncated cone (6.5 mm base and 5.5 mm head diameter)

2.9 mm height. The tool rotational speed has been set equal to 1600 rpm and translation speed equal to 80 mm/min. TIG and FSW joints have been sectioned in transverse direction to obtain the specimens. These ones have been cut along welding direction, to separate the weld bead and heat-affected zone (HAZ) from parent alloy. For electro- chemical measurements, specimens have been embedded in epoxy resin (Technovit 3040 KULZER HERAEUS ® ) so to

expose only a single surface to the aggressive solution. Then they have been electrically connected with a copper wire,

set in a glass tube (it also embedded in resin), by a conduc- tive epoxy resin (Technovit 5000 KULZER HERAEUS ® ). All specimens have been machined with emery papers up to no. 1200, washed with distilled water and then polished with a degreaser to have a smooth surface. Instrumental Vickers micro-hardness measurements have been performed through the weld zone at different depths;

a LEITZ WETZLER ® durometer has been used with a load of 300 g. Impressions have been done with 0.5 mm step for each line. Two different electrochemical tests have been conducted

in 3.5 wt.% NaCl aqueous solution: polarisation curves (PC) corrosion testing, performed to assess the pitting resistance by recording anodic and cathodic, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) testing, performed to evalu- ate surface’s performances. The electrochemical cell used is

a 2l volume flask; solution has been stirred by air (aerated

solution) or nitrogen (deaerated solution) flow during each test. The specimen represents the working electrode, while two platinum wires, symmetrically disposed with respect to specimen under investigation, served as the counter elec- trode; a saturated calomel reference electrode (SCE) has been employed. Experiments have been conducted at room temperature. After immersion, first the potential has been allowed to stabilise, and then, after 1 h immersion, the test started. PC tests have been conducted in both aerated and deaer- ated solutions. Data have been obtained using a potentio- stat EG&G ® Princeton Applied Research Corp. Model 273 which consists of a complete hardware that measures the re- sponse of an electrochemical system to dc excitation (soft- ware package Corrosion Software M352); the hardware in- cludes a potentiostat as electrochemical interface, a personal computer, and the electrochemical cell. Potential range in- vestigated was 1000/ 400 mV versus SCE for tests in aerated solutions and 1400/600 mV versus SCE for tests in deaerated solutions, both with a rate of 0.5 mV/s. Tests have been conducted on three main zones (parent alloy, heat affected zone and weld bead) belonging to each kind of joint. EIS tests have been conducted in aerated solution only, using a Solartron Frequency Response Analyser (FRA) Model 1260 and an electrochemical interface, potentiostat Solartron 1287, including a personal computer with a GPIB, and the electrochemical cell. Measurements have been per- formed starting from the 0.02 Hz up to 10 5 Hz, at 10 data cycles/decade, 5 mV ac amplitude and with an average si- nusoid curve value equal to the open circuit potential, i.e. corrosion potential.

3. Results and discussions

It is well known that, in case of TIG welding, due to the fusion of material and high temperatures experienced by

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

99

of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105 99 Fig. 1. Macrography of TIG weld: (1) weld

Fig. 1. Macrography of TIG weld: (1) weld bead; (2) HAZ; (3) unaffected zone.

adjacent material a fairly wide HAZ appears (see Fig. 1), in which parent hardening precipitates experience a kind of over-ageing, causing phase transformations (θ θ ) [1], resulting into a general loss of mechanical proper- ties, as confirmed by decay in micro-hardness measures (see Fig. 2). During the realisation of FSW joints, instead, two differ- ent phenomena have to be taken into account, each of them leading to different conclusion. By one side the tempera- tures experienced by material involved in welding process, though lower than melting one, induce phase transforma- tions leading to same considerations drawn for TIG joints and the result is still a decay of mechanical properties, this situation regards nugget zone, flow arm zone and TMAZ, Fig. 3; on the other hand, great shear stresses induced by tool motion lead to the generation of a very fine grain struc- ture [2], see again Fig. 3, which allows a partial recovery

of mechanical properties, and this happens only in nugget zone and, above all, in flow arm zone. Moving from centre of weld bead toward unaffected material, after TMAZ there is the HAZ: in such a zone of FSW joints realised on an alu- minium alloys similar to that under investigation in present research, i.e. in T3 condition, the low temperatures expe- rienced can induce a kind of ageing, resulting into a light increase of mechanical characteristics. As a matter of fact, by viewing micro-hardness map of FSW joint, Fig. 4, low- est values regard TMAZ; values of stirred material (nugget and flow arm zones) appear slightly higher than previous ones, while values of HAZ are slightly higher than those of unaffected material. Results of PC tests, conducted on TIG joint are graphi- cally reported in Figs. 5 and 6, while main measured data are collected in Table 1. The highest E cor,A value attained by parent alloy indicates that such material is the noblest

by parent alloy indicates that such material is the noblest Fig. 2. Map of normalised micro-hardness

Fig. 2. Map of normalised micro-hardness measures of TIG joint.

2. Map of normalised micro-hardness measures of TIG joint. Fig. 3. Macrography of FSW weld: (1)

Fig. 3. Macrography of FSW weld: (1) nugget zone; (2) flow arm; (3) TMAZ; (4) HAZ; (5) unaffected zone.

100

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105 Fig. 4. Map of normalised micro-hardness measures of FSW

Fig. 4. Map of normalised micro-hardness measures of FSW joint.

4. Map of normalised micro-hardness measures of FSW joint. Fig. 5. Anodic and cathodic PC of

Fig. 5. Anodic and cathodic PC of parent alloy, HAZ and weld bead of TIG welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution.

one. For all zones under investigation, an E pit,D value lower than E cor,A value has been found, this means that all zones are subjected, in equilibrium conditions, to pitting corro- sion. Turning, then, attention on last column of above men- tioned table, the value of difference between two potentials increases moving from weld bead to parent alloy. Such re- sults indicate that, in equilibrium condition, the general ten- dency of entire joint is towards pitting corrosion, but while in parent alloy pits are generated and then they increase, in

other two zones pits would tend to be generated, but a shield action, provided by corrosion products themselves, prevents this occurrence. Focusing attention in Fig. 6, weld bead show an higher i pit,D value than HAZ and parent alloy: this means that just in this zone a greater number of pits would tend to be generated than in other two zones. Turning attention on FSW joint, Table 2 shows, one more time, a parent alloy E cor,A value greater than the others. It

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

101

of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105 101 Fig. 6. Anodic and cathodic PC of parent

Fig. 6. Anodic and cathodic PC of parent alloy, HAZ and weld bead of TIG welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl deaerated solution.

Table 1 Measured main potentials, during PC test, for TIG joint

 

E cor,A (mV)

E pit,D (mV)

E cor,A E pit,D (mV)

Parent alloy

690

714

24

HAZ

701

709

8

Weld bead

701

705

4

Table 2 Measured main potentials, during PC test, for FSW joint

 

E cor,A (mV)

E pit,D (mV)

E cor,A E pit,D (mV)

Parent alloy

690

714

24

HAZ

655

644

11

Weld bead

665

636

29

has to be underlined that, also in case of friction stir welded joints, investigations have been carried out on specimens cut from weld bead, HAZ and unaffected material, while no specimens belonging to TMAZ have been considered: this is due to the fact that TMAZ zone is completely confined within the joint and it does not show any surface to external, as confirmed by Fig. 3. With respect to TIG joint, differences among E cor,A values of three zones are, now, more evident,

as confirmed by Fig. 7; but, this time, both HAZ and weld bead show an E cor,A value lower than E pit,D value: this means that, in equilibrium conditions, both HAZ and weld bead show a passive behaviour, while parent alloy shows again a well developed pitting phenomenon. What is more, in FSW joint, the HAZ shows the greatest i pit,D value, Fig. 8, then

the greatest i p i t , D value, Fig. 8 , then Fig. 7. Anodic

Fig. 7. Anodic and cathodic PC of parent alloy, HAZ and weld bead of FSW Fig. welded 8. Anodic specimen and in cathodic 3.5% NaCl PC of aerated parent solution. alloy, HAZ and weld bead of FS

102

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

the oxide layer of this zone is characterised by the greatest number of defects. To take into account the asymmetric nature of FSW pro- cess, a further series of tests has been carried out on speci- mens cut respectively from advancing and retreating part of weld bead. Results are reported in Figs. 9 and 10 and data are collected in Table 3. In equilibrium conditions retreating

side, as well as weld bead, shows a passive behaviour, while advancing side, shows a slight pitting phenomenon. To con- clude, the advancing side shows also the greatest i pit,D value, so same considerations above mentioned can be drawn. Results of EIS tests, carried out on TIG welded specimens, are graphically reported in Fig. 11. The value of E oc of these tests has been set equal to 716 mV, with an oscillation

tests has been set equal to − 716 mV, with an oscillation Fig. 9. Anodic and

Fig. 9. Anodic and cathodic PC of total weld bead, retreating side and advancing side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution.

side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution. Fig. 10. Anodic and cathodic PC

Fig. 10. Anodic and cathodic PC of total weld bead, retreating side and advancing side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl deaerated solution.

side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl deaerated solution. Fig. 11. Bode plots of impedance

Fig. 11. Bode plots of impedance vs. frequency for parent alloy, HAZ and weld bead of TIG welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution.

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

103

Table 3 Measured potentials for advancing and retreating side and total weld bead of FSW joint

 

E cor,A (mV)

E pit,D (mV)

E cor,A E pit,D (mV)

Advancing side Retreating side Total weld bead

657

669

12

651

635

16

665

636

29

of ±5 mV. According to values emerged from polarisation curve tests, weld bead and HAZ zone lay in passive stretch of polarisation curve, while parent alloy is tested very close to its E pit,D . Results pointed out by PC tests are confirmed by evaluation of plots reported in following figures: in Fig. 11 parent alloy shows a linear decay of impedance value for lowest frequency values, allowing to confirm the presence of a pitting phenomenon fully developed. Equivalent circuits, able to simulate, by both a quantita- tive and a qualitative point of view, the behaviour of inves- tigated materials, are reported. The circuit regarding parent alloy is reported in Fig. 12. It is important to underline the presence of an inductance component (L), revealing the pit- ting phenomenon showed by material. R sol , R ox and R ct are resistance components regarding, respectively, the solution, the oxide layer and the material itself. CPE ox , indicating a variable condenser, simulates, to conclude, the presence of a mobile electric double layer formed to the interface between specimen and solution. In Fig. 13 a circuit simulating the behaviour of both HAZ and weld bead is proposed: the main differences with respect to parent alloy circuit lays in the absence of inductance (confirming absence of a developed pitting phenomenon) and in presence of CPE Al , indicating the store of electric charge at the interface material–oxide. In Table 4, numerical values attained by electrical compo- nents of equivalent circuits of TIG joint corroborate, one more time, the results and the behaviour till now drawn for this joint: both R ct and R ox of HAZ and weld bead, in fact, are greater than those of parent alloy.

weld bead, in fact, are greater than those of parent alloy. Fig. 12. Equivalent circuit for

Fig. 12. Equivalent circuit for parent alloy.

parent alloy. Fig. 12. Equivalent circuit for parent alloy. Fig. 13. Equivalent circuit for both weld

Fig. 13. Equivalent circuit for both weld bead and HAZ of TIG joint.

For EIS tests performed on friction stir welded joints,

E oc has been set equal to 718 mV, a value very close to

pitting potential of parent alloy. From analysis of Fig. 14, considerations very similar to those of previous case can be drawn; the main difference lays, in this case, in a more homogeneous behaviour of three zones under investigation. In figure, in fact, not only the curve regarding parent alloy but also that one regarding weld bead show a very slight decay for lowest frequency values. In this kind of joint, best performances are those offered by HAZ. Same tests have been carried out, as comparison, be- tween advancing and retreating part of weld zone: results are graphically reported in Fig. 15. In Fig. 16 equivalent circuits for FSW joint are reported, numerical date are collected in Table 5. In all above-mentioned figures, but, above all, by data of Table 5, best performances shown by retreating side of weld bead are evident, with total absence of every signal related to pitting phenomena.

total absence of every signal related to pitting phenomena. Fig. 14. Bode plots of impedance vs.

Fig. 14. Bode plots of impedance vs. frequency for parent alloy, HAZ and weld bead of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution.

104

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

Table 4 Values of main electrical components belonging to equivalent circuits of TIG joint

 

R sol ( )

R ox ( )

R ct ( )

L (H)

CPE ox ( F/cm 2 )·Hz 1α

α

CPE Al ( F/cm 2 )·Hz 1α

α

Parent alloy

0.692

1753

445.7

2552

86.78

0.77

HAZ

0.795

6567

35252

36.89

0.87

135.08

0.95

Weld bead

0.684

2971

10952

31.99

0.86

199.92

0.69

2971 10952 – 31.99 0.86 199.92 0.69 Fig. 15. Bode plots of impedance vs. frequency for

Fig. 15. Bode plots of impedance vs. frequency for total weld bead, retreating side and advancing side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution.

side of FSW welded specimen in 3.5% NaCl aerated solution. Fig. 16. (a) Equivalent circuit for

Fig. 16. (a) Equivalent circuit for retreating side and (b) for both global weld bead and advancing side of FSW joint.

Table 5 Values of main electrical components belonging to equivalent circuits of FSW joint

 

R sol ( )

R ox ( )

R ct ( )

L (H)

CPE ox ( F/cm 2 )·Hz 1α

α

CPE Al ( F/cm 2 )·Hz 1α

α

Parent alloy Retreating side Advancing side Total weld bead

0.692

1753

445.7

2552

86.78

0.77

0.433

3051

15.74

0.91

154.75

0.56

0.684

1964

9501

33.56

0.95

0.628

3315

45554

17.06

0.91

4. Conclusions

On the basis of experimental research carried out in present work on welded joints of Al 2024-T3, realised according to FSW and TIG processes, the following con- clusions can be drawn:

Micro-hardness tests performed through the thickness of TIG weld joint allow to confirm the general decay of me- chanical properties, shown in both weld bead and HAZ, related to phase transformation induced by high temper- atures experienced by material.

Micro-hardness tests performed through the thickness of FSW joint allow to point out the great differences among

four different main zones: nugget zone (including flow arm), TMAZ, HAZ and unaffected zone (i.e. parent alloy). The first two zones are characterised by a general drop of mechanical properties, even though the nugget and flow arm zone show a light recovery due to very fine grain structure, while the third one show a very slight increase.

Polarisation curve and EIS tests allow to point out that in both kind of joints parent alloy show evident pitting tendency, while weld bead and HAZ show a passive be- haviour, even though, in case of FSW joint, such differ- ences are less evident.

Comparison performed on advancing and retreating side of friction stir weld bead show with a certain evidence the nobler behaviour the latter zone.

A. Squillace et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 152 (2004) 97–105

105

Acknowledgements

The authors want to thank Alenia Aeronautica for provid- ing aluminium alloys investigated in present paper.

References

[1] R.P. Matrukanitz, Selection and weldability of heat-treatable alu- minum alloys, ASM Handbook—Welding, Brazing and Soldering 6 (1990) 528–536. [2] A.F. Norman, I. Brough, P.B. Prangnell, High resolution EBSD anal- ysis of the grain structure in a AA2024 friction stir weld, Materi- als Science Forum, vols. 331–337, Trans Tech Publications, 2000, pp. 1713–1718. [3] A.F. Norman, V. Drazhner, P.B. Prangnell, Effect of welding param- eters on the solidification microstructure of autogenous TIG welds in an Al–Cu–Mg–Mn alloy, Mater. Sci. Eng. A259 (1999) 53–64. [4] F. Zucchi, G. Trabanelli, V. Grassi, Pitting and stress corrosion cracking resistance of friction stir welded AA 5083, Mater. Corros. 52 (2001) 853–859.

[5] W.M. Thomas, et al., Friction stir butt welding, International Patent Application No. PCT/GB92/02203, December 1991. [6] R.A. Owen, R.V. Preston, P.J. Withers, H.R. Shercliff, P.J. Webster, Neutron and synchrotron measurements of residual strain in TIG welded aluminium alloy 2024, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 346 (2002) 159–

167.

[7] K.N. Krishnan, On the formation of onion rings in friction stir welds,

Mater. Sci. Eng. A327 (2002) 246–251. [8] W.D. Lockwood, B. Tomaz, A.P. Reynolds, Mechanical response of friction stir welded AA 2024: experiment and modelling, Mater. Sci. Eng. A323 (2002) 348–353. [9] M.A. Sutton, B. Yang, A.P. Reynolds, R. Taylor, Microstructural studies of friction stir welds in 2024-T3 aluminum, Mater. Sci. Eng. A323 (2002) 160–166. [10] C. Blanc, B. Lavelle, G. Mankowsky, The role of precipitates enriched with copper on the susceptibility to pitting corrosion of the 2024 aluminum alloy, Corros. Sci. 39 (3) (1997) 495–510. [11] C. Blanc, G. Mankowsky, Pit propagation rate of the 2024 and 6056 aluminium alloys, Corros. Sci. 40 (2/3) (1998) 411–429. [12] G. Biallas, R. Braun, C. Dalle Donne, G. Staniek, W.A. Kaysser, Mechanical properties and corrosion behavior of friction stir welded 2024-T3, in: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Friction Stir Welding, TWI, UK, 1999.