Investigation of internal defects and premature fracture of dissimilar refill friction stir spot welds of AA5754 and AA6061


The occurrence of internal defects in welded samples of AA5754-AA6061 produced by refill friction stir spot welding was investigated. A design of experiments using Box-Behnken method followed by a statistical examination using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and response surface modeling were utilized as analysis tools, which proved to be a reliable optimization methodology. This optimization successfully produced sound joints with high lap-shear strength. The statistical analysis showed a large influence of linear plunge depth, quadratic rotational speed, and two-way interaction of feeding rate and rotational speed on lap-shear strength of the welds. A quadratic hypersurface model for predicting weld performance was successfully generated. The subsequent investigation was performed by changing welding parameters, one factor at a time (OFAT), which confirmed the high dependence of lap-shear strength on rotational speed by producing an undesirable outlier. Metallographical analysis on the outlier sample pointed out the occurrence of voids and refilling defects, associated in large scale to low friction heat input. The outlier sample also produced a wing-shaped structure that possibly obstructed the flow of softened material toward void closure. The existence of those defects shows evidence of premature crack in the outlier sample. A subtle adjustment in rotational speed to1000 rpm proved to be sufficient to eliminate the defects and produce stronger welds. Although the problem of refilling defects could be solved, the mechanical properties in the weld were worsened compared to that of base material.
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