This work aims to understand the effect of changes in friction stir welding (FSW) process parameters on the resulting microstructure specifically the effect of the plunge depth and tool rotational speed, during the “dwell” period on the resulting microstructure. A series of (FSW) of 14.8-mm-thick EH46 steel plate using a hybrid polycrystalline boron nitride FSW tool with spindle speeds of 120 and 200 revolutions per minute have been produced with increasing plunge depths from 0.1 to 0.7 mm. Thermocouples embedded around the top surface of each plunge case were used to measure the peak temperature during the process. The plunge depths were measured using the infinite focus microscopy, and the microstructure of all the heat affected regions was investigated extensively by scanning electron microscopy. It was found that phase transformation is sensitive to the variation on plunge depth. Small increase in plunge depth caused a significant change in the microstructure. Increasing tool rotational speed was also found to cause a significant difference in the microstructure.
Bibliographical noteThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Metallography, Microstructure, and Analysis. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13632-017-0390-5
- EH46 steel
- Friction stir welding
- Plunge depth