ENABLING HIGH SPEED FRICTION STIR WELDING OF ALUMINUM TAILOR WELDED BLANKS
MetadataShow full item record
Current welding technologies for production of aluminum tailor-welded blanks (TWBs) are utilized in low-volume and niche applications, and have yet to be scaled for the high-volume vehicle market. This study targeted further weight reduction, part reduction, and cost savings by enabling tailor-welded blank technology for aluminum alloys at high-volumes. While friction stir welding (FSW) has traditionally been applied at linear velocities less than one meter per minute, high volume production applications demand the process be extended to higher velocities more amenable to cost sensitive production environments. Unfortunately, weld parameters and performance developed and characterized at low to moderate welding velocities do not directly translate to high speed linear friction stir welding. Therefore, in order to facilitate production of high volume aluminum FSW components, parameters were developed with a minimum welding velocity of three meters per minute. With an emphasis on weld quality, welded blanks were evaluated for post-weld formability using a combination of numerical and experimental methods. Evaluation across scales was ultimately validated by stamping full-size production door inner panels made from dissimilar thickness aluminum tailor-welded blanks, which provided validation of the numerical and experimental analysis of laboratory scale tests.