Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 42, Issue 18, pp 7657–7666 | Cite as

Cracking in the stir zones of Mg-alloy friction stir spot welds

  • Motomichi YamamotoEmail author
  • Adrian Gerlich
  • Thomas H. North
  • Kenji Shinozaki


Liquid penetration induced (LPI) cracking is investigated during friction stir spot weld of AZ91, AZ31 and AM60 magnesium alloys. A combination of stir zone temperature measurement and detailed metallography has revealed differences in the cracking tendencies of different magnesium alloys when the dwell time during spot welding is varied. LPI cracking in AZ91 spot welds involves the following sequence of events: the formation of \(\alpha-\hbox{Mg}\,+\,\hbox{Mg}_{17}\hbox{Al}_{12}\) eutectic films in the thermo-mechanically affected zone (TMAZ) region immediately adjacent to the stir zone extremity, engulfment of melted eutectic films as the stir zone width increases during the dwell period, penetration of α−Mg grain boundaries and crack propagation when torque is applied by the rotating tool. Cracking occurs early in the dwell period during AZ91 spot welding and almost the entire stir zone is removed when the rotating tool is withdrawn. However, crack-free AZ31 and AM60 spot welds are produced when a dwell time of 4 s is used since the stir zone temperatures are much higher than the α-Mg + Mg17Al12 eutectic temperature (437 °C) and melted eutectic films dissolve rapidly following their engulfment by the growing stir zone. In contrast, the temperature during the dwell period in AZ91 spot welding is close to 437 °C and melted eutectic films are not completely dissolved so that spot welds produced using a dwell time of 4 s exhibit LPI cracking.


Dwell Time Spot Welding Spot Weld Friction Stir Spot Welding Friction Stir Spot Weld 



The authors wish to acknowledge financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada during this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Motomichi Yamamoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adrian Gerlich
    • 2
  • Thomas H. North
    • 2
  • Kenji Shinozaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical System Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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