Two different in-process control strategies were developed and compared with the aim to produce AZ31 magnesium alloy joints by friction stir welding on sheet blanks with a non-uniform thickness. To this purpose, sheets with dip or hump zones were welded by either changing the rotational speed or the tool plunging in order to keep constant the value of the vertical force occurring during the welding stage of the process. The influence of the main process parameters on the tool force, the micro- and macromechanical properties, and the joints microstructures in the dip and hump zones were analyzed. The results showed that using the rotational speed change-based approach, the hump zones are subjected to increased heat input with consequent increase of the heat-affected zone extension and average grain size (up to 11 μm). On the contrary, using the tool plunge change-based approach, the weld seam thickness in the dip zones is reduced, resulting in a decreased joint strength, with respect to tool rotation approach, equal to about 18%.
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 25, 2017
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