The use of friction stir welding (FSW) as a new process for joining dissimilar metals has been studied frequently recently. The present study investigated dissimilar-metal FSW between Al and Mg alloys using the widely used alloys 6061 Al and AZ31B Mg. It focused on the issue of how the joint strength is affected by the welding conditions, including the positions of Al and Mg with respect to the welding tool, the tool travel speed and the tool rotation speed. In spite of studies conducted by many other investigators, understanding of this fundamental issue is still rather limited. Unlike those studies, the present study: (1) determined the heat input by torque and temperature measurements during welding and used it to explain the effect of the welding conditions on the joint strength, (2) used color metallography with Al, Mg, Al3Mg2 and Al12Mg17 shown in different colors to clearly revealed the effect of the welding conditions on the formation of intermetallic compounds and material flow, which are affected by the heat input and which in turn affect the joint strength, and (3) determined the windows for selecting the travel and rotation speeds to optimize the joint strength for various material positions. Furthermore, conventional lap FSW was modified and the joint strength and ductility of the resultant welds were both increased significantly. The modified lap FSW was applied subsequently to Al-to-Cu FSW. The intermetallic compounds in Al-Mg and Al-Cu welds were identified.
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- Engineering, Metallurgy;Engineering, Materials Science