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In-process heat treatments to improve FS-welded butt joints

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Abstract

Friction-stir welding (FSW) is a relatively new but already well known solid-state welding process whose main advantage with respect to fusion welding processes is the possibility to successfully weld light alloys, traditionally considered difficult to weld or unweldable. Despite the good mechanical performances that can be obtained, there exists the possibility to further improve the joints’ effectiveness through post-welding heat treatments that are however time and cost-expensive and, therefore, not best suited for industrial applications. In the present paper, the authors report the results of an experimental campaign, developed on FSW of AA7075-T6 aluminum alloy, aimed to investigate the possibility to enhance the joint performances through in process heat treatments. Welded joints were developed under three different conditions, namely, free air, forced air, and with water flowing on the surface of the joint itself. The influence of the external refrigerants was investigated at the varying of the specific thermal contribution conferred to the joint. Both mechanical and metallurgical investigations were developed on the welded joints highlighting both improvements of mechanical performances of the joints and reductions in the softening of the material when external refrigerants are used.

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Correspondence to L. Fratini.

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Fratini, L., Buffa, G. & Shivpuri, R. In-process heat treatments to improve FS-welded butt joints. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 43, 664 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-008-1750-8

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Keywords

  • FSW
  • Mechanical resistance
  • In process heat treatments