Experimental characterization and numerical analysis of the weld-region material in friction stir welded thick AA2139-T8 plates

Mica Grujicic (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States.)
Jennifer Snipes (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States.)
S Ramaswami (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States.)
Chian-Fong Yen (Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen, Maryland, United States)

International Journal of Structural Integrity

ISSN: 1757-9864

Publication date: 13 June 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The weld region obtained during friction stir welding (FSW) of metallic materials (including aluminum alloys) contains typically well-defined zones, each characterized by fairly unique microstructure and properties. The purpose of this paper is to carry out combined experimental and numerical investigations of the mechanical properties of materials residing in different weld zones of FSW joints of thick AA2139-T8 plates.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the experimental investigation, the following has been conducted: first, optical-microscopy characterization of the transverse sections of the FSW joints, in order to help identify and delineate weld zones; second, micro hardness field generation over the same transverse section in order to reconfirm the location and the extent of various weld zones; third, extraction of miniature tensile specimens from different weld zones and their experimental testing; and finally, extraction of a larger size tensile specimen spanning transversely the FSW weld and its testing. Within the computational investigation, an effort was made to: first, validate the mechanical properties obtained using the miniature tensile specimens; and second, demonstrate the need for the use of the miniature tensile specimens.

Findings

It is argued that the availability of weld-zone material mechanical properties is critical since: first, these properties are often inferior relative to their base-metal counterparts; second, the width of the weld in thick metallic-armor is often comparable to the armor thickness, and therefore may represent a significant portion of the armor exposed-surface area; and finally, modeling of the weld-material structural response under loading requires the availability of high-fidelity/validated material constitutive models, and the development of such models requires knowledge of the weld-material mechanical properties.

Originality/value

The importance of determining the mechanical properties of the material in different parts of the weld zone with sufficient accuracy is demonstrated.

Keywords

Citation

Grujicic, M., Snipes, J., Ramaswami, S. and Yen, C.-F. (2016), "Experimental characterization and numerical analysis of the weld-region material in friction stir welded thick AA2139-T8 plates", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 429-454. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-06-2015-0017

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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