Development of a Robust and Cost-Effective Friction Stir Welding Process for Use in Advanced Military Vehicles

  • M. Grujicic
  • G. Arakere
  • B. Pandurangan
  • A. Hariharan
  • C.-F. Yen
  • B. A. Cheeseman


To respond to the advent of more lethal threats, recently designed aluminum-armor-based military-vehicle systems have resorted to an increasing use of higher strength aluminum alloys (with superior ballistic resistance against armor piercing (AP) threats and with high vehicle-light weighing potential). Unfortunately, these alloys are not very amenable to conventional fusion-based welding technologies and in-order to obtain high-quality welds, solid-state joining technologies such as Friction stir welding (FSW) have to be employed. However, since FSW is a relatively new and fairly complex joining technology, its introduction into advanced military vehicle structures is not straight forward and entails a comprehensive multi-step approach. One such (three-step) approach is developed in the present work. Within the first step, experimental and computational techniques are utilized to determine the optimal tool design and the optimal FSW process parameters which result in maximal productivity of the joining process and the highest quality of the weld. Within the second step, techniques are developed for the identification and qualification of the optimal weld joint designs in different sections of a prototypical military vehicle structure. In the third step, problems associated with the fabrication of a sub-scale military vehicle test structure and the blast survivability of the structure are assessed. The results obtained and the lessons learned are used to judge the potential of the current approach in shortening the development time and in enhancing reliability and blast survivability of military vehicle structures.


aluminum automotive joining welding 



The material presented in this article is based on work supported by the U.S. Army/Clemson University Cooperative Agreements W911NF-04-2-0024 and W911NF-06-2-0042 and by the Army Research Office sponsored Grant W911NF-09-1-0513.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Grujicic
    • 1
  • G. Arakere
    • 1
  • B. Pandurangan
    • 1
  • A. Hariharan
    • 1
  • C.-F. Yen
    • 2
  • B. A. Cheeseman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Army Research Laboratory, Survivability Materials BranchAberdeen, Proving GroundUSA

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