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Fracture and mechanical properties of friction stir spot welds in 6063-T6 aluminum alloy

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The influence of the tool dimensions and of the welding parameters on the fracture and lap shear properties of friction stir spot welds is investigated. Interrupted lap shear tests allow to follow the mechanisms leading to weld fracture. A triangular cavity opens at the hook during lap shear testing. The distance between this triangular cavity and the hole left by the pin is the main parameter controlling the type of fracture. A too short distance favors a fracture through the weld nugget and hence should be avoided. In particular, this happens when the tool pin diameter is too small and when the plunge rate is too large. Fracture initiating at the triangular cavity and following the thermomechanically affected zone, i.e., by the pullout of the weld nugget, is preferred. This fracture type leads to significant plastic deformation and generally favors a large ultimate force during lap shear testing. Large ultimate forces are observed when the welds are cooler (large plunge rates and low rotation speeds), but the welding conditions should be chosen so as not to lead to fracture trough the weld nugget.

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Correspondence to Aude Simar.

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Jonckheere, C., de Meester, B., Cassiers, C. et al. Fracture and mechanical properties of friction stir spot welds in 6063-T6 aluminum alloy. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 62, 569–575 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-011-3795-3

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  • Friction stir spot welding
  • 6063-T6 Aluminum alloy
  • Fracture
  • Hooking effect