Superplastically Formed Friction Stir Welded Tailored Aluminum and Titanium Blanks for Aerospace Applications

  • Daniel Sanders
  • Paul Edwards
  • Glenn Grant
  • Mamidala Ramulu
  • Anthony Reynolds
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a specialized friction stir welding process for superplastic grade aluminum alloy 5083-SP and titanium alloy 6Al-4V, in thickness of 1.5-4 mm, such that the butt welded nugget would have equal superplastic forming (SPF) characteristics as the parent sheet material. The concept of using tailored blanks for the SPF process is proposed which will allow the joining of multiple pieces to fabricate much larger monolithic components than has been possible in the past. Another benefit of using tailored blanks for SPF applications was found to be a more closely matched blank shape relative to the plan size of the SPF forming die. However, shape of the tailored blanks is critical in SPF of a component. An example of this might be the case where a polygon-shaped blank might work in order to reduce the amount of material used, but a rectangular blank is currently used because a tailor made blank with superplastic joints was not found to be technologically feasible. Upon development of a suitable FSW process for each material, the technology was applied to fabricate full scale test components representing a generic jet engine nacelle Lipskin.

Keywords

6Al-4V friction stir welding nacelle superplastic forming tailored blank titanium 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the University of South Carolina, the Boeing Company, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories for their support of this study.

References

  1. 1.
    D. Sanders, M. Ramulu, and P. Edwards, Superplastic Forming of Friction Stir Welds in Titanium Alloy 6Al-4V: Preliminary Results, Materialwissenschaft Werkstofftechnik, 2008, 39(4), p 353–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Sanders, M. Ramulu, E. Klock-McCook, P. Edwards, A. Reynolds, and T. Trapp, Characterization of Superplastically Formed Friction Stir Weld in Titanium 6Al-4V: Preliminary Results, ASM J. Mater. Eng. Perform., 2008, 17(2), p 187–192CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Sanders, The Current State-of-the-Art and the Future in Airframe Manufacturing Using Superplastic Forming Technologies, ICSAM 2000, Mater. Sci. Forum, 2001, 357–359, p 17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. Sanders, G. Grant, M. Ramulu, E. Klock-McCook, L. Leon, G. Booker, D. Foutch, T. Reynolds, and W. Tang, Superplastic Forming of Friction Stir Welded Ti 6-4 Sheet, Presented at the ASM AeroMat Conference, 2005Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W. Thomas, E. Nicholas, J. Needham, M. Murch, P. Templesmith, and C. Dawes, Great Britain Patent 9125978.8, 1991Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. Davies, J. Vetrano, M. Smith, and S. Pitman, Mechanical Properties of Aluminium Tailor Welded Blanks at Superplastic Temperatures, J. Mater. Process. Technol., 2002, 128(1–3), p 38–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Sanders
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul Edwards
    • 1
    • 2
  • Glenn Grant
    • 3
  • Mamidala Ramulu
    • 2
  • Anthony Reynolds
    • 4
  1. 1.BOEING CompanySeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoriesRichlandUSA
  4. 4.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations