Research Papers

Identification of Process Parameters for Friction Stir Welding Ti–6Al–4V

[+] Author and Article Information
P. Edwards

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; Boeing Research & Technology, The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA 98124

M. Ramulu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 132(3), 031006 (Jun 16, 2010) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001302 History: Received December 08, 2009; Revised February 15, 2010; Published June 16, 2010; Online June 16, 2010

An experimental study was conducted to identify acceptable welding parameters for friction stir welding Ti-6Al-4V butt joints, ranging from 3 mm to 12 mm in thickness. The primary parameters of interest were the spindle speed and feed rate. Welds were produced using spindle speeds of 140–320 rpm and feed rates between 40 mm/min and 125 mm/min. Joints were evaluated by macro- and micrometallurgical examination along with limited fatigue and tensile testing. The weld parameters were found to influence the microstructure, penetration, void formation, and tool wear among other things. A process window was identified for combinations of the feed rate and spindle speed capable of achieving defect free joints for a given tooling configuration and thickness. It was found that the tensile and fatigue properties of the welds produced in this study were comparable to Ti–6Al–4V base material properties.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Macrographs for 3 mm Ti–6Al–4V FSWs: 300 rpm at (a) 50 mm/min, (b) 75 mm/min, and (c) 125 mm/min; (d) micrograph from the 75 mm/min weld

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Figure 3

Macrographs for 6 mm Ti–6Al–4V FSWs: (a) 280 rpm at 45 mm/min and (b) 280 rpm at 100 mm/min; (c) micrographs from 280 rpm at 100 mm/min weld

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Figure 4

Macrographs for 9 mm Ti–6Al–4V FSWs: (a) 250 rpm at 100 mm/min and (b) 270 rpm at 65 mm/min; (c) micrographs from the 270 rpm at 65 mm/min weld

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Figure 5

Macrographs for 12 mm Ti–6Al–4V FSWs: (a) 140 rpm at 40 mm/min, (b) 170 rpm at 40 mm/min, and (c) 170 rpm at 65 mm/min; (d) micrographs from the 170 rpm at 65 mm/min weld

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Figure 6

Typical failed FSW tensile specimens noting failure location

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Figure 7

SEM images of tensile specimen failure surfaces: (a) weld nugget and (b) Base metal

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Figure 8

Macrographs of (a) 3mm and (b) 6 mm fatigue specimens; (c) S-N curve for 6 mm (280 RPM at 100 mm/min) and 3 mm (300 RPM at 75 mm/min) welded specimens tested at two load ratios and compared with the handbook values

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Figure 9

(a) Friction stir welded titanium fatigue specimen with a developing crack and typical failure surfaces for (b) 3 mm and (c) 6 mm specimens

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Figure 10

(a) Crack initiation point and (b) crack propagation surface for the 3 mm specimen; (c) crack initiation point and (d) crack propagation surface for the 6 mm specimen

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Figure 11

Schematic for Ti FSW process window

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Figure 12

6 mm weld produ ced on a steel based anvil showing improved penetration profile

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Figure 13

Predicted energy input as a function of the material thickness

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Figure 14

Weld nugget grain size versus thickness comparison

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Figure 1

Representative Ti–6Al–4V base material microstructures for each thickness



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