Preliminary Investigation on Friction Spot Welding of AZ31 Magnesium Alloy


Friction spot welding (FSpW) is a recent solid state welding process developed and patented by GKSS Forschungszentrum (now Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht), Germany. A spot-like connection is produced by means of an especially designed non-consumable tool consisting of pin, sleeve and clamping ring that creates a joint between sheets in overlap configuration through frictional heat and plastic deformation. FSpW offers many advantages over conventional spot joining techniques including high energy efficiency, surface quality and environmental compatibility. Comparing with friction stir spot welding, FSpW produces a weld without keyhole on the surface at the end of the joining process. In the present study, the possibility of joining AZ31 magnesium alloy by FSpW technique was evaluated by using different welding parameters (rotational speed, plunge depth and dwell time), aiming to produce high quality connections. Microstructural features were analyzed by light optical microscope and mechanical performance was investigated by microhardness test and lap shear test. Microstructure analysis revealed that defects free welds could be produced. A slight decrease in grain size of the stir zone was observed causing a slight increase in the microhardness of this region. The preliminary lap shear data demonstrated that the weld strength is comparable to other welding process.
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