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Research Papers

Effect of Compliance and Travel Angle on Friction Stir Welding With Gaps

[+] Author and Article Information
Edward F. Shultz, Edward G. Cole, Michael R. Zinn, Nicola J. Ferrier

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706

Christopher B. Smith

 Friction Stir Link, Inc., Brookfield, WI 53045

Frank E. Pfefferkorn1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706pfefferk@engr.wisc.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 132(4), 041010 (Jul 23, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001581 History: Received June 09, 2009; Revised March 21, 2010; Published July 23, 2010; Online July 23, 2010

This paper presents an investigation of the effects of friction stir weld tool travel angle and machine compliance on joint efficiency of butt welded 5083-H111 aluminum alloy in the presence of joint gaps. Friction stir welds are produced with a CNC mill and an industrial robot at travel angles of 1 deg, 3 deg, and 5 deg with gaps from 0 mm to 2 mm, in 0.5 mm increments. Results indicate that the more rigid mill resulted in higher joint efficiencies than the relatively compliant robot when welding gaps greater than 1 mm with a 3 deg travel angle using our test setup. The results also show that when gaps exceed 1 mm welds made with a travel (tilt) angle of 5 deg are able to generate higher joint efficiencies than welds made with a travel angle of 1 deg and 3 deg. Based on tool geometry and workpiece dimensions, a simple model is presented that is able to estimate the joint efficiency of friction stir welds as a function of gap width, travel angle, and plunge depth. This model can be used as an assistive tool in optimizing weld process parameters and tool design when welding over gaps. Experimental results show that the model is able to estimate the joint efficiency for the test cases presented in this paper.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 2

Photo of a 2.0 mm seam gap between plates to be butt welded

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Figure 3

Schematic of (a) key tool dimensions used and (b) rendering of tool used

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Figure 4

FSW butt weld as viewed down weld (welding into page)

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Figure 5

Weld cross section (AA 5083-H111 etched with modified Poulton’s reagent)

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Figure 6

Plowing as a function of depth

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Figure 7

Weld cross section with a gap showing material lost to plowing, material displaced by the shoulder, and the gap to be filled

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Figure 8

Photo of weld with 2.00 mm wide gap overlaid

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Figure 9

Location and dimension of tensile test sample

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Figure 10

Macrograph of weld cross section (AA 5083-H111 etched with modified Poulton’s reagent) with superimposed tool profile

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Figure 11

Comparison of measured and predicted joint efficiency

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Figure 12

Predicted travel angle and plunge depth to maximize joint efficiency for a given gap width (5 mm plate, tool design shown in Fig. 3)

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Figure 13

Predicted maximum joint efficiency and optimal travel angle for various plunge depths for 2 mm wide gap. Data points are shown in Fig. 1.

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Figure 14

Optimal angles identified by the model for given plunge depths for a 2 mm gap width. (a) 4 mm plunge depth—too shallow for optimal joint efficiency; (b) 5 mm plunge depth—maximum plunge without entering backing plate; (c) 5.27 optimal plunge depth for joint efficiency as identified by model; (d) 6 mm plunge depth too deep.

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Figure 16

Effect of travel angle on joint efficiency for various gap widths: measured data for robot welds and predicted values

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Figure 17

Micrograph cross sections (AA 5083-H111 etched with modified Poulton’s reagent) with tool outline overlaid for robot welds at travel angles of 1 deg (top), 3 deg (middle), and 5 deg (bottom) for gap sizes of 0 mm (left), 1 mm (middle), and 2 mm (right)

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Figure 1

Schematic of friction stir welding: (a) process and (b) tool travel angle and plunge depth

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Figure 15

Comparison of joint efficiency for an industrial robot and CNC mill welding over gaps using a 3 deg travel angle

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