Date of Award

8-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Member

Fadi Abu-Farha, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Srikanth Pilla

Committee Member

Hongseok Choi

Committee Member

Mark Hoffman

Abstract

Since the invention of Friction Stir Welding in 1991 as a solid state joining technique, extensive scientific investigations have been carried out to understand fundamental aspects of material behaviors when processed by this technique, in order to optimize processing conditions as well as mechanical properties of the welds. Based on the basic principles of Friction Stir Welding, several derivatives have also been developed such as Friction Stir Processing, Friction Extrusion and Friction Stir Back Extrusion. Friction Stir Back Extrusion is a novel technique that is proposed recently and designed for fabricating tubes from lightweight alloys. Some preliminary results have been reported regarding microstructure and mechanical properties of Friction Stir Back Extrusion processed AZ31 magnesium alloy, however, systematic study and in-depth investigations are still needed to understand the materials behaviors and underlying mechanisms when subjected to Friction Stir Back Extrusion, especially for age-hardenable Al alloys. In the present study, Friction Stir Back Extrusion processed AA6063-T5 and AA7075-T6 alloys are analyzed with respect to grain structure evolution, micro-texture change, recrystallization mechanisms, precipitation sequence as well as mechanical properties. Optical Microscopy, Electron Backscatter Diffraction, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Vickers Hardness measurements and uniaxial tensile tests are carried out to characterize the microstructural change as well as micro and macro mechanical properties of the processed tubes. Special attention is paid to the micro-texture evolution across the entire tube and dynamic recrystallization mechanisms that are responsible for grain refinement. Significant grain refinement has been observed near the processing zone while the tube wall is characterized by inhomogeneous grain structure across the thickness for both alloys. Dissolution of existing precipitates is noticed under the thermal hysterias imposed by Friction Stir Back Extrusion process, resulting in decreased strength but improved elongation of the processed tubes; a post-process aging step can effectively restore the mechanical properties of the processed tubes by allowing for the reprecipitation of solute elements in the form of fine, dispersed precipitates. Texture analysis performed for AA6063 alloy suggests the dominance of simple shear type textures with clear transition from initial texture to stable B/ ÍžB components via intermediate types that are stable under moderate strain levels. In order to identify the texture components properly, rigid body rotations are applied to the existing coordinate system to align it to local shear reference frame. Surprisingly, for AA7075 tubes, <111> and <100> fibers are observed to be the dominant texture components in the transition region as well as thermomechanically affected zone while the processing zone is characterized by random texture. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the formation of random texture are discussed in Chapter 5 based on Electron Backscatter Diffraction analysis. Comparative discussions are also carried out for the recrystallization mechanisms that are responsible for grain structure evolution of both alloys. Continuous grain subdivision and reorientation is cited as the dominant mechanism for the recrystallization of AA6063 alloys, while dynamic recrystallization occurs mainly in the form of Geometric Dynamic Recrystallization and progressive subgrain rotations near grain boundaries in AA7075 alloys.

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