Numerical investigation of stirred zone shape and its effect on mechanical properties in friction stir welding process
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This article presents the numerical investigation of the stirred zone shape and its effects on the mechanical properties of the weld joint in the friction stir welding process using computational fluid dynamics. For the numerical prediction of stirred zone shape, four different tool probe profiles are used, namely cylindrical, conical, cylindrical-conical and stepped-conical probes. The stirred zone material is considered as non-Newtonian fluids, and simulation is done under the transient state. The shape of the stirred zone is determined by critical viscosity which depends on the temperature and material flow velocity. The numerical result shows that the stepped-conical probe profile tool develops high peak temperature and uniform variation of the material flow along with the thickness of the workpiece. The numerically predicted weld zone shape is compared with the experimental weld zone shape. To predict the effect of weld zone shape on mechanical properties, experiments are conducted using the tool probe profile. The mechanical properties are determined by experimentally analysing the effect of stirred weld zone shape. The numerical predicated stirred zone shape and experimentally developed stirred zone shape are compared. The vase-shaped stirred zone is developed for all the probe profiles, and the stepped-conical probe profile tool produces a cylinder-dominant vase shape. The weld joint developed by the stepped-conical probe profile tool produces good mechanical properties and enhances ductile fracture mode as compared to other probe profile tools.
KeywordsTool probe profiles Stirred zone shape Temperature distribution Material flow Viscosity Mechanical properties Friction stir welding
The authors are grateful to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Patna, India, and to the Department of Production Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India, for extending the facilities of the material testing laboratory to carry out this investigation.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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