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Friction Stir Weld Failure Mechanisms in Aluminum-Armor Structures Under Ballistic Impact Loading Conditions

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

Abstract

A critical assessment is carried out of the microstructural changes in respect of the associated reductions in material mechanical properties and of the attendant ballistic-impact failure mechanisms in prototypical friction stir welding (FSW) joints found in armor structures made of high-performance aluminum alloys (including solution-strengthened and age-hardenable aluminum alloy grades). It is argued that due to the large width of FSW joints found in thick aluminum-armor weldments, the overall ballistic performance of the armor is controlled by the ballistic limits of its weld zones (e.g., heat-affected zone, the thermomechanically affected zone, the nugget, etc.). Thus, in order to assess the overall ballistic survivability of an armor weldment, one must predict/identify welding-induced changes in the material microstructure and properties, and the operative failure mechanisms in different regions of the weld. Toward this end, a procedure is proposed in the present study which combines the results of the FSW process modeling, basic physical-metallurgy principles concerning microstructure/property relations, and the fracture mechanics concepts related to the key blast/ballistic-impact failure modes. The utility of this procedure is demonstrated using the case of a solid-solution strengthened and cold-worked aluminum alloy armor FSW-weld test structure.

Keywords

aluminum armor ballistic limit failure mechanisms friction stir welding 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The material presented in this article is based on the study supported by two Army Research Office sponsored grants (W911NF-11-1-0207 and W911NF-09-1-0513) and two U.S. Army/Clemson University Cooperative Agreements (W911NF-04-2-0024 and W911NF-06-2-0042).

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Copyright information

© ASM International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Grujicic
    • 1
  • B. Pandurangan
    • 1
  • A. Arakere
    • 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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