Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

grujicic, MICA

Committee Member


Committee Member



Interactions between the rotating and advancing pin-shaped tool (terminated at one end with a circular-cylindrical shoulder) with the clamped welding-plates and the associated material and heat transport during a Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process are studied computationally using a fully-coupled thermo-mechanical finite-element analysis. To surmount potential numerical problems associated with extensive mesh distortions/entanglement, an Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) formulation was used which enabled adaptive re-meshing (to ensure the continuing presence of a high-quality mesh) while allowing full tracking of the material free surfaces. To demonstrate the utility of the present computational approach, the analysis is applied to the cases of same-alloy FSW of two Aluminum-alloy grades: (a) AA5083 (a solid-solution strengthened and strain-hardened/stabilized Al-Mg-Mn alloy); and (b) AA2139 (a precipitation hardened quaternary Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloy). Both of these alloys are currently being used in military-vehicle hull structural and armor systems.
In the case of non-age-hardenable AA5083, the dominant microstructure evolution processes taking place during FSW are extensive plastic deformation and dynamic recrystallization of highly-deformed material subjected to elevated temperatures approaching the melting temperature. To account for the competition between plastic-deformation controlled strengthening and dynamic-recrystallization induced softening phenomena during the FSW process, the original Johnson-Cook strain- and strain-rate hardening and temperature-softening material strength model is modified in the present work using the available recrystallization-kinetics experimental data. In the case of AA2139, in addition to plastic deformation and dynamic recrystallization, precipitates coarsening, over-aging, dissolution and re-precipitation had to be also considered. Limited data available in the open literature pertaining to the kinetics of the aforementioned microstructure-evolution processes are used to predict variation in the material hardness and the residual stresses throughout the various FSW zones of the two alloys. The results showed that with proper modeling of the material behavior under high-temperature/severe-plastic-deformation conditions, significantly improved agreement can be attained between the computed and measured post-FSW residual-stress and material-strength distribution results.



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