Modelling of friction stir welding of DH36 steel

M. Al-moussawi, Alan Smith, A. Young, S. Cater, Masoumeh Faraji

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    A 3-D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to simulate the friction stir welding of 6-mm plates of DH36 steel in an Eulerian steady-state framework. The viscosity of steel plate was represented as a non-Newtonian fluid using a flow stress function. The PCBN-WRe hybrid tool was modelled in a fully sticking condition with the cooling system effectively represented as a negative heat flux. The model predicted the temperature distribution in the stirred zone (SZ) for six welding speeds including low, intermediate and high welding speeds. The results showed higher asymmetry in temperature for high welding speeds. Thermocouple data for the high welding speed sample showed good agreement with the CFD model result. The CFD model results were also validated and compared against previous work carried out on the same steel grade. The CFD model also predicted defects such as wormholes and voids which occurred mainly on the advancing side and are originated due to the local pressure distribution between the advancing and retreating sides. These defects were found to be mainly coming from the lack in material flow which resulted from a stagnant zone formation especially at high traverse speeds. Shear stress on the tool surface was found to increase with increasing tool traverse speed. To produce a “sound” weld, the model showed that the welding speed should remain between 100 and 350 mm/min. Moreover, to prevent local melting, the maximum tool’s rotational speed should not exceed 550 RPM.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-360
    JournalThe International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
    Issue number1-4
    Early online date24 Feb 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


    • Friction stir welding
    • Computational fluid dynamic
    • DH36
    • Weld defects


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