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Abstract

The paper presents the results of theoretical analysis and experimental research on the material’s influence and tool geometry on the welding speed and mechanical strength of Al 2024 thin sheet metal joints. To make the joints, tungsten carbide and ceramics tools with a smooth and modified surface of the shoulder were used. The choice of the geometrical parameters of the tool was adjusted to the thickness of the joined sheet. During welding, the values of axial and radial force were recorded to determine the stability of the process. The quality of the joint was examined and evaluated on the basis of visual analysis of the surface and cross-sections of the joint area and the parent material, and subjected to mechanical strength tests. The test results indicate that both the geometry of the tool shoulder and the tool material have a decisive influence on the quality of the joint and the welding speed, making it possible to shorten the duration of the entire process.
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Abstract

The paper presents the results of research work on linear FSW (Friction Stir Welding) joining aluminum alloys AA2024-T3 of 0.5 mm in thickness. The study was conducted on properly adapted numerical controlled 3 axis milling machine using a ceramic tool and special designed fastening device. The tool dimensions have been estimated according to the algorithm shown in the literature [4]. All joints were made of end-to end (butt) configuration under different welding speed. The rotational speed of the tool and tool offset was constant. The effect of selected technological parameters on the quality of the joint was analyzed. Produced butt joint have been subjected to a static tensile testing to identify mechanical features of the materials of joints compared to parent materials. Measurements of micro hardness HV in the plastically formed stir zone of joint and in the parent material have been carried out. Axial and radial welding forces in the joining region were recorded during the tests and their dependency from the welding parameters was studied. Based on the results of strength tests the efficiency of joints for sheets of 0.5 mm in thicknesses oscillated up to 96% compared to the parent material. It has been found that for given parameters the correct, free of defects joints were obtained. The paper also presents the results of low-cycle fatigue tests of obtained FSW joints. The use of a ceramic tool in the FSW process allows to obtain welds with higher strength than conventional tools. The results suggests that FSW can be potentially applied to joining aluminum alloys.
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