Research Papers

Friction Stir Resistance Spot Welding of Aluminum Alloy to Advanced High Strength Steel

[+] Author and Article Information
Kai Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
e-mail: chenkai@umich.edu

Xun Liu

Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH 43210
e-mail: xunxliu@umich.edu

Jun Ni

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
e-mail: junni@umich.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 20, 2017; final manuscript received November 20, 2017; published online August 22, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Wayne Cai.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 140(11), 111007 (Aug 22, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-17-1153; doi: 10.1115/1.4038993 History: Received March 20, 2017; Revised November 20, 2017

A hybrid friction stir resistance spot welding (RSW) process is applied for joining aluminum alloy 6061 to TRIP 780 steel. Compared with conventional RSW, the applied current density is lower and the welding process remains in the solid state. Compared with conventional friction stir spot welding (FSSW) process, the welding force is reduced and the dissimilar material joint strength is increased. The electrical current is applied in both a pulsed and direct form. With the equal amount of energy input, the approximately same force reduction indicates that the electro-plastic material softening effect is insignificant during FSSW process. The welding force is reduced mainly due to the resistance heating induced thermal softening of materials. With the application of electrical current, a wider aluminum flow pattern is observed in the thermo-mechanically affected zone (TMAZ) of weld cross sections and a more uniform hook is formed at the Fe/Al interface. This implies that the aluminum material flow is enhanced. Moreover, the Al composition in the Al–Fe interfacial layer is higher, which means the atomic diffusion is accelerated.

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Fig. 1

Illustration of FSSW tool dimension and the definition of the plunge depth

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Fig. 2

Illustration of the initial experimental setup for the electrically assisted FSSW

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Fig. 3

Schematic illustration of different electrode positions for electrically assisted FSSW

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Fig. 4

(a) Current density distribution when both electrodes placed on the top aluminum side. (b) Current density distribution when the electrodes placed on different base materials.

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Fig. 5

(a) Illustration of the experimental setup for electrically assisted FSSW. (b) Schematic illustration of the current flow during the welding process.

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Fig. 6

Simulation results for the current density distribution of the experimental setup

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Fig. 7

(a) Experimental setup for the electrical assisted FSSW. (b) A typical welded sample.

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Fig. 8

Comparison of the axial plunge force with and without the electrical current

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Fig. 9

Recorded current pulse signal during the FSSW welding process

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Fig. 10

Comparison of axial plunge force with the 560A DC, 900A pulse

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Fig. 11

(a) General cross section view of the welding region. (b) Enlarged cross section view of the sample. (c) EDS line test from point A to B.

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Fig. 12

Region of interest counts for Zn through EDS line test

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Fig. 13

Zn flow pattern during the welding process (a) with DC and (b) without current

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Fig. 14

Comparison of shear strengths under the conditions of no current, 560 A DC and pulse

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Fig. 15

Illustration of the material interaction between steel and aluminum

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Fig. 16

Vortex shape generated at the top of the hook (no current)

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Fig. 17

(a) Illustration of the mixing pattern between aluminum and steel at a deeper plunge depth. (b) Cross section view of the inside of the hook (no current).

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Fig. 18

Enlarged cross section view of Fe/Al interface (a) without current, (b) with DC, and (c) with pulses

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Fig. 19

Corresponding EDS line test results along Fe/Al interface (a) without current, (b) with DC, and (c) with pulses

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Fig. 20

Cross section view of the inside of hook (560 A DC)



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