Production Engineering

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 175–182 | Cite as

On the growth of intermetallic phases by heat treatment of friction stir welded aluminum steel joints

  • Andreas Naumov
  • Chris Mertin
  • Frederik Korte
  • Gerhard Hirt
  • Uwe Reisgen
Production Process


Multi-material components made from aluminum and steel sheet metal are an innovative approach for weight reduction in automotive applications. However, lightweight components made from aluminum and steel require suitable joining technologies. A promising solid-state welding technology for producing dissimilar steel aluminum joints is Friction Stir Welding, which minimizes the formation of Fe-Al intermetallic phases due to process temperatures lower than the melting temperatures of the base material. The results obtained show a comparison of steel aluminum joints made by FSW using DC04 mild steel with the strain hardened aluminum alloy AA5754-H22 on the one hand and the precipitation hardened aluminum alloy AA6082-T6 on the other hand. The difference between achieved maximum tensile strengths of the joints in relation to those from both base materials is investigated. Due to the stirring and heat input of the welding process, the temper condition of the precipitation hardened aluminum alloy is changed. To improve the mechanical properties of the welded joints, post weld heat treatments are performed. The post weld heat treatments of the produced multi-material specimens from AA6082-T6 aluminum alloy and mild steel at various heat treatment conditions show substantial growth of intermetallic phase layer, which is characterized in detail within the present work. Tensile tests show a degradation of the mechanical properties resulting in a decreased tensile strength and insufficient connection of both materials. Investigations using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) show a distinct increase of the thickness of intermetallic phases in the transition between aluminum and steel.


Friction stir welding Intermetallic phase SEM Aluminum Steel Heat treatment 


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Copyright information

© German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Welding and Joining InstituteRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Metal FormingRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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