Recent Developments for Ultrasonic-Assisted Friction Stir Welding: Joining, Testing, Corrosion – an Overview

M. Thomä, G. Wagner, B. Straß, C. Conrad, B. Wolter, S. Benfer and W Fürbeth

IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 118 (2016) 012014;
DOI: 10.1088/1757-899X/118/1/012014


Due to the steadily increasing demand on innovative manufacturing processes, modern lightweight construction concepts become more and more important. Especially joints of dissimilar metals offer a variety of advantages due to their high potential for lightweight construction. The focus of the investigations was Al/Mg-joints. Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is an efficient process to realize high strength joints between these materials in ductile condition. Furthermore, for a simultaneous transmission of power ultrasound during the FSW-process (US-FSW) a positive effect on the achievable tensile strength of the Al/Mg-joints was proven.

In the present work the industrial used die cast alloys EN AC-48000 (AlSi12CuNiMg) and AZ80 (MgAl8Zn) were joined by a machining center modified especially for Ultrasound Supported Friction Stir Welding. The appearing welding zone and the formation of intermetallic phases under the influence of power ultrasound were examined in particular. In order to identify optimal process parameters extensive preliminary process analyzes have been carried out. Following this, an ultrasound-induced more intensive stirring of the joining zone and as a result of this a considerably modified intermetallic zone was detected. At the same time an increase of the tensile strength of about 25 % for US-FSW-joints and for fatigue an up to three times higher number of cycles to failure in comparison to a conventional welding process was observed. Moreover, detailed corrosion analyzes have shown that especially the welding zone was influenced by the corrosive attack. To expand and deepen the knowledge of the US-FSW-process further material combinations such as Ti/Steel and Al/Steel will be considered in future.

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