Date of Award

12-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Materials Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Hahn Choo

Committee Members

Peter K. Liaw, George M. Pharr, David C. Joy, Camden R. Hubbard

Abstract

Friction-stir welding (FSW) is a solid-state joining process, which utilizes a cylindrical rotating tool consisting of a concentric threaded tool pin and tool shoulder. The strong metallurgical bonding during the FSW is accomplished through: (1) the severe plastic deformation caused by the rotation of the tool pin that plunges into the material and travels along the joining line; and (2) the frictional heat generated mainly from the pressing tool shoulder. Recently, a number of variations of the FSW have been applied to modify the microstructure, for example, grain refinements and homogenization of precipitate particles, namely friction-stir processing (FSP). Applications of the FSP/FSW are widespread for the transportation industries. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of light-weight materials subjected to the FSW/FSP are being studied extensively. However, separating the effect of the frictional heat and severe plastic deformation on the residual stress and texture has been a standing problem for the fundamental understanding of FSW/FSP. The fundamental issues are: i) the heat- and plastic- deformation-induced internal stresses that may be detrimental to the integrity and performance of components; ii) the frictional heating that causes a microstructural softening due to the dissolution or growth of the precipitates in precipitation-hardenable Al alloys during the process; and iii) the crystallographic texture can be significantly altered from the original texture, which could affect the physical and mechanical properties. The understanding of the influences of the de-convoluted sources (e.g. frictional heat, severe plastic deformation, or their combination) on the residual stress, microstructural softening, and texture variations during FSW can be used for a physics-based optimization of the processing parameters and new tool designs. Furthermore, the analyses and characterization of the natural aging behavior and the aging kinetics can be practically applied to the predictions of mechanical behavior and material selection for the FSW/FSP. Finally, the experimental results can be useful to develop more accurate computational simulations.

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