SiC and Al2O3 Reinforced Friction Stir Welded Joint of Aluminium Alloy 6061
This research presents the enhancement of mechanical properties of friction stir welded portion of aluminium alloy 6061 by incorporating additional reinforcing particulates of silicon carbide and aluminium oxide at weld interface. Friction stir welding (FSW) of AA6061, each plate of 200 mm × 100 mm × 4 mm thickness with silicon carbide and aluminium oxide as reinforcement at weld interface in four different volume proportions and without reinforcement are performed on vertical milling machine. In the present research, comparison has been done between mechanical properties of silicon carbide and aluminium oxide reinforced welded joints. Silicon carbide and aluminium oxide have been added as reinforcement by creating separate geometry, at the edges, where the welding is interfaced with four different volume proportions such as 10, 15, 25 and 30%. Tool steel of H13 grade is used as friction stir welding tool. The tool has outer shoulder diameter of 18 mm, pin diameter at the top of 7 mm and 5 mm at the bottom, and pin length of 3.7 mm. A rotational speed of 1120 rpm and transverse speed of 40 mm/min were selected. Quality assessment is carried out by visual inspection and non-destructive testing using fluorescent and radiography to reveal the surface and volumetric defects. Mechanical testings including tensile test, impact test, bend test and hardness test were conducted to study the behaviour of reinforced and unreinforced friction stir welded joints. Metallurgical evaluation has been performed by capturing the microstructures of base materials and at different zones of nugget, heat-affected zone (HAZ) by optical microscope to reveal the grain size and grain refinement at different zones. The experimental results indicate that the reinforcing particulates and percentage of reinforcing particulates have a major influence on the mechanical properties of friction stir welded joint. From microstructures, it has been shown that the addition of SiC and Al2O particles decreased the grain size and increased the strength of the joints.
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