Low-Cost Fabrication of Tungsten-Rhenium Alloys for Friction Stir Welding Applications

  • Judy SchneiderEmail author
  • Jordan Terrell
  • Laura Farris
  • Dennis Tucker
  • Todd Leonhardt
  • Hennig Goldbeck


Friction stir welding (FSW) of high-melting temperature alloys, such as steel and Inconel, requires tooling that can survive under the applied loads at the elevated temperatures. Tungsten-Rhenium (W-Re) alloys are a suitable candidate for this application; however, the costs typically associated with achieving the required densities and grain structure for the tooling are high due to the lengthy traditional processing required. Further costs are incurred in machining the starting bar stock to the final FSW tooling configuration. An alternate processing method is used in this study to shorten the fabrication time using direct current sintering which rapidly consolidates the starting powders at lower temperatures than used in traditional powder metallurgy. Although this process enables retention of the fine grain size, the sintering time is too short to form the desired single, solid phase. Therefore, the specimens were subjected to a post-consolidation heat treatment to fully solutionize the W matrix. Once the desired density and solid solution phase was verified in coupons, the final processing parameters were used to consolidate a net shape tool for FSW.



The authors (JAS, JT, LF) gratefully acknowledge the funding support provided by NASA-MSFC Cooperative Agreement for Dual Use Technology Development, Grant No. 80MSFC17M0008. All powders and their preparation used in this study were provided by Re Alloys.


  1. 1.
    P.L. Threadgill: Report 761/2003, TWI, Cambridge, 2003.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    2. R.S. Mishra and M.W. Mahoney: Friction stir welding and processing,” ASM Intl. Publisher, Materials Park, OH, 2007, pp. 8-12.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    3. J. Barry, G. Akdogan, R. Smyth, F. McAvinue and P. O’Halloran: Industrial Diamond Review, 2006, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 46-53.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    4. T.K. Harris, E.J. Brookes and C.J. Taylor: Intl J. Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, 2001, vol. 19, no. 4-6, pp. 267-273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    5. Z. Iqbal, N. Saheb and A.R. Shuaib: J. Alloys & Compounds, 2016, vol. 674, pp. 189-199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    6. B. Thompson and S.S. Babu: Welding Journal, 2010, vol. 89, pp. 256s–261s.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    7. P.N. Browning, S. Alagic, A. Kulkarni, L. Matson and J. Singh: MSEA, 2016, vol. A674, pp. 701-712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    8. O. El-Atwani, D.V. Quach, M. Efe, P.R. Cantwell, B. Heim, B. Schultz, E.A. Stach, J.R. Groza and J.P. Allain: MSEA, 2011, vol. A528, pp. 5670-5677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    W.D. Klopp: Report No 4955, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland OH, 1968.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Dickinson: Trans. Am. Soc. Met., 1959, vol. 51, pp. 758–771.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    11 C.T. Sims and RI. Jaffee: Trans. ASM, 1960, vol. 52, pp. 929-941.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    W.D. Klopp, W.R Witzke and P.L. Raffo: Report no 3483. NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, 1966.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    13. P.L. Raffo: J. Less-Common Metals, 1969, vol. 17, pp. 133-143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    L.S. Rubenstein: Report no 4379, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, 1968.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    W.D. Klopp and W.R Witzke (1969) Report 5348. NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    D. Klopp, P.L. Raffo, W.R. Witzke (1971) J. Org. Met. 6:27-38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    W.D. Klopp and W.R Witzke (1971) J. Less Common Met., 24:427-443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    18. D. Lee, M.A. Umer, H.J. Ryu and S.H. Hong: Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 2014, vol. 44, pp. 49-53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    19. A. Luo, K.S. Shin and D.I. Jacobson: Acta Metall. Mater., 1992, vol. 40, pp. 2225-2232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    20. A. Luo, D.I. Jacobson and K.S. Shin: Scripta Metall. Mater., 1989, vol. 23, pp. 397-400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    D. Lee, M.A. Ulmer, H.J. Ryu and S.H. Hong: Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 2014, vol. 44, pp. 49-53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    22. T.B. Massalski: Binary Alloy Phase Diagrams, ASM Intl. Publisher, Materials Park, OH, 1990.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    B.D. Bryskin and J.-C. Carlén: Proc. 127th TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition, San Antonio, TX, 1998.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    B.D. Bryskin and J.-C. Carlén: Matls. & Mfg. Proc., 1996, vol. 11/1, pp. 67–81.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    25. R.M. German: Sintering: Powder metallurgy Science, Metal Powder Industries Federation Pub., Princeton, NJ, 1984, pp. 145-200.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    26. E.Y. Ivanov, C. Suryanarayana and B.D. Bryskin: MSEA, 1998, vol. A251, pp. 255-261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    27. F.H. Froes, B.D. Bryskin, C.R. Clark, C. Suryanarayana and E.G. Baburaj: Rhenium and Rhenium alloys, TMS Publisher, Warrendale, PA, 1997, pp. 569-583.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    E. Ivanov and C. Wickersham: Proc. Intl. Plansee Seminar, Austria Publisher, Reutte, 1997, vol. 1, pp. 207–216.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    29. M.S. Boldrick, E. Yang and C.N.J. Wagner: J. Non-Cryst. Solids, 1992, vol. 150, pp. 478-482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    I. Charit: Nuclear Energy University Project No. 09-775, Final Report CFP-09-775, DOE Publisher, New York, 2012.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    31. G. Lee, J. McKittrick, E. Ivanov and E.A. Olevsky: Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 2016, vol. 61, p. 22-29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    32. N.C. Kothari: J. Less-Common Met. 1963, vol 5, pp. 140-150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    33. T. Vasilos and J.T. Smoth: J. Appl. Phys., 1964, vol. 35, pp. 215-217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    34. Z. Gao, G. Viola, B. Milsom, I. Whitaker, H. Yan and M. Reece: MMTB, 2012, vol. 43, pp. 1608-1614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    35. Q. Wei, T. Jiao, K.T. Ramesh, E. Ma, L.J. Kecskes, L. Magness, R. Dowding, V.U. Kazykhanov, R.Z. Valiev: Acta Mater., 2006, vol. 54, pp. 77-87.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    36. Q. Wei, H.T. Zhang, B.E. Schusterb, K.T. Ramesh, R.Z. Valiev, L.J. Kecskes, R.J. Dowding, L. Magness and K. Cho: Acta Mater., 2006, vol. 54, pp. 4079-4089.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    37. F. V. Lenel: JOM, 1955, vol. 7, pp. 158-167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    J. R. Groza: AM Metals Handbook, Powder Metal Technologies & Applications, Vol. 7, ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1998, pp. 583–589.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    39. J.R. Groza and A. Zavaliangos: MSEA, 2000, vol. A287, pp. 171-177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    40. J.R. Groza, M. Garcia and J.A. Schneider: J. Mat. Res., 2001, vol. 16/1, pp. 286-292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    41. R. Orru, R. Licheri, A.M. Locci, A. Cincotti and G. Cao: Mat. Sci. & Engr. R., 2009, vol. 63, pp. 127-287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    42. Z.A. Munir, D.V. Quach and M. Ohyanagi: J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 2011, vol. 94/1, pp. 1-19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    K.C. Cho, R.H. Woodman, B.R. Koltz, and R.J. Dowding: Matls & Mfgt Proc., 2004, vol. 19/4, pp. 619–30.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    44. M. Yao, Z. Zhangjian, T. Jun and L. Ming: Rare Metal Matl. & Engr., 2011, vol. 40, pp. 4-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    45. J. Choi, H-M. Sung, K-B. Roh, S-H. Hong, G-H. Kim and H.N. Han: Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 2017, vol. 69, pp. 164-169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    T. Ryu, K.S. Huang, Y.J. Choi and H.Y. Sohn: Intl. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater, 2009, vol. 27, pp. 701-704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    47. Z. Gao, G. Viola, B. Milsom, I. Whitaker, H. Yan and M.J. Reece: MMTB, 2012, vol. 43, pp. 1608-1614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    48. N. Van Minh, G. Karunakaran and Y. Konyukhv: J. Clust. Sci., 2017, vol. 28, p. 2905-2917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    49. W. Song and X. Ming: Applied Mech. & Matl., 2012, vol. 236-237, p. 113-117.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    50. A. Monda, A. Upadhyaya and D. Agrawal: Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 2010, vol. 28, pp. 597-600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Schneider
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jordan Terrell
    • 1
  • Laura Farris
    • 1
  • Dennis Tucker
    • 2
  • Todd Leonhardt
    • 3
  • Hennig Goldbeck
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Rhenium AlloysNorth RidgevilleUSA
  4. 4.Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfungBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations