Fatigue life assessment of friction spot welded 7050-T76 aluminium alloy using Weibull distribution


Friction spot welding is a solid state welding process suitable to obtain spot like-joints in overlap configuration. The process is particularly useful to weld lightweight materials in similar and dissimilar combinations, and therefore an interesting alternative to other joining techniques (rivets, resistance welding, etc.). Optimum process parameters have been defined using the Taguchi method by maximizing the response variable (the lap shear strength). A study of the fatigue life was carried out on specimens welded with the above mentioned optimized process parameters. Fatigue tests were performed using a stress ratio of R = 0.10. Two-parameter Weibull distribution was used to analyze statistically the fatigue life for the joined overlapped sheets. Subsequently, the Weibull plots were drawn, as well as S–N curves considering different reliability levels. The results show that for a relatively low load, corresponding to 10% of the maximum supported by the joint, the number of cycles surpasses 1 × 106, hence infinite life of the service component can be attributed. Fatigue fracture surfaces were investigated for the highest and lowest loads tested using scanning electron microscope (SEM).
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