A Concurrent Product-Development Approach for Friction-Stir Welded Vehicle-Underbody Structures

  • M. Grujicic
  • G. Arakere
  • A. Hariharan
  • B. Pandurangan


High-strength aluminum and titanium alloys with superior blast/ballistic resistance against armor piercing (AP) threats and with high vehicle light-weighing potential are being increasingly used as military-vehicle armor. Due to the complex structure of these vehicles, they are commonly constructed through joining (mainly welding) of the individual components. Unfortunately, these alloys are not very amenable to conventional fusion-based welding technologies [e.g., gas metal arc welding (GMAW)] and 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-underbody structures is not straight forward and entails a comprehensive multi-prong approach which addresses concurrently and interactively all the aspects associated with the components/vehicle-underbody design, fabrication, and testing. One such approach is developed and applied in this study. The approach consists of a number of well-defined steps taking place concurrently and relies on two-way interactions between various steps. The approach is critically assessed using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis.


blast-survivable and ballistic threat-resistant military vehicles friction-stir welding process development 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Grujicic
    • 1
  • G. Arakere
    • 1
  • A. Hariharan
    • 1
  • B. Pandurangan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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