Numerical Modelling of the Friction Stir Welding Process
Bilal Ahmad, a PhD researcher in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Strathclyde is using ARCHIE-WeSt to model a novel solid state welding process on steel alloys. The project is supervised by Dr Alex Galloway and Dr Athanasios Toumpis.
Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid state joining process that uses a rotating non-consumable tool to weld two butted surfaces together. Heat is generated between the tool and material which leads to a very soft region near the FSW tool. The material temperature during welding is below its melting point which minimises the development of flaws (cracking and porosity), typically observed in fusion welding. The FSW tool specifications play a critical role in the welding process as its characteristics significantly influence the weld properties.
This research focuses on the development of complex numerical models related to the FSW tool geometry and material selection. These will be studied to understand the geometry, physical properties and wear behaviour of the rotating tool when performing under highly aggressive processing conditions. Different auxiliary energy variants of the FSW process and backing plates will be considered in the model to reduce the forces experienced by the FSW tool.
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