Influence of intermetallic phases and Kirkendall-porosity on the mechanical properties of joints between steel and aluminium alloys


The formation of intermetallic reaction layers and their influence on mechanical properties was investigated in friction stir welded joints between a low C steel and both pure Al (99.5 wt.%) and Al–5 wt.% Si. Characterisation of the steel/Al interface, tensile tests and fractography analysis were performed on samples in the as-welded state and after annealing in the range of 200–600 °C for 9–64 min. Annealing was performed to obtain reaction layers of distinct thickness and composition. For both Al alloys, the reaction layers grew with parabolic kinetics with the η phase (Al5Fe2) as the dominant component after annealing at 450 °C and above. In joints with pure Al, the tensile strength is governed by the formation of Kirkendall-porosity at the reaction layer/Al interface. The tensile strength of joints with Al–5 wt.% Si is controlled by the thickness of the η phase (Al5Fe2) layer. The pre-deformation of the base materials, induced by the friction stir welding procedure, was found to have a pronounced effect on the composition and growth kinetics of the reaction layers.
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